About the Book:
A mysterious portrait ignites an antiquarian bookseller’s search through time and the works of Shakespeare for his lost love.
Guaranteed to capture the hearts of everyone who truly loves books,The Bookman’s Tale is a former bookseller’s sparkling novel and a delightful exploration of one of literature’s most tantalizing mysteries with echoes of Shadow of the Wind and A.S. Byatt's Possession.
Hay-on-Wye, 1995. Peter Byerly isn’t sure what drew him into this particular bookshop. Nine months earlier, the death of his beloved wife, Amanda, had left him shattered. The young antiquarian bookseller relocated from North Carolina to the English countryside, hoping to rediscover the joy he once took in collecting and restoring rare books. But upon opening an eighteenth-century study of Shakespeare forgeries, Peter is shocked when a portrait of Amanda tumbles out of its pages. Of course, it isn’t really her. The watercolor is clearly Victorian. Yet the resemblance is uncanny, and Peter becomes obsessed with learning the picture’s origins.
As he follows the trail back first to the Victorian era and then to Shakespeare’s time, Peter communes with Amanda’s spirit, learns the truth about his own past, and discovers a book that might definitively prove Shakespeare was, indeed, the author of all his plays.
Why I chose this book:
I was intrigued by the premise of an antiquarian bookseller discovering a hauntingly similar portrait of his dead wife in an antique book shop! I am also drawn to "books about books," so this looked like a must read for me.
What I enjoyed about the book:
The Bookman's Tale was a delight for the bibliophile in me......Peter is someone who was easy for me to relate to -- he was more comfortable in the company of books than with people, and was passionate in both his love for books and his beautiful Amanda. This mystery novel with a hauntingly touching love story had multiple plots that took the reader to Shakespeare's world, the Victorian era, and the present day. While a little confusing at times with so many characters, I kept chugging along and was rewarded with a most enjoyable reading experience.
Do I recommend?
Yes, for those who enjoy mysteries and consider themselves bibliophiles. Does your heart leap at the thought of visiting a rare books collection or an antique bookstore in Hay-on-Wye? Then this will be a satisfying reading experience for you.
***I purchased this book and it is part of my personal library.