Monday, October 12, 2009
Review: Lady Macbeth's Daughter by Lisa Klein
Author: Lisa Klein
Pub. Date: Oct. 13, 2009
Main Themes: Retellings, Love, Family, Shakespeare's Macbeth
Plot (from FantasticFiction):
The daughter Macbeth might have had, if Shakespeare had thought to create her.
Albia has grown up with no knowledge of her mother of her father, the powerful Macbeth. Instead she knows the dark lure of the Wychelm Wood and the moors, where she's been raised by three strange sisters. It's only when the ambitious Macbeth seeks out the sisters to foretell his fate that Albia's life becomes tangled with the man who leaves nothing but bloodshed in his wake. She even falls in love with Fleance, Macbeth's rival for the throne. Yet when Albia learns that she has the second sight, she must decide whether to ignore the terrible future she foresees - or to change it. Will she be able to save the man she loves from her murderous father? And can she forgive her parents their wrongs, or must she destroy them to save Scotland from tyranny?
Macbeth was never my favorite play by Shakespeare, but, after reading Lady Macbeth's Daughter, I have a newfound respect for the story. I really think that Albia made the story for me - Lisa Klein wrote Albia so perfectly that I can't believe Shakespeare left her out!
Albia was an amazing addition to Macbeth's original cast. Not only was is a resilient and strong female lead, she shows the perfect blend of characteristics one would expect her to have inherited through her birth parents and her adoptive family. I am astounded by how believable Albia's character is! It was interesting to see how Albia came to terms with learning that her birth father is the bloodthirsty and tyrannical Macbeth - a man that she has never personally met, nor has an desire to.
Lady Macbeth was must easier to understand and feel sympathy for in this version of the story. I like the idea that Lady Macbeth's insane behavior was motivated in part by her grief over the death of her infant daughter (Albia), rather than (only) greed and the need for power.
The romance between Albia and Fleance wasn't really a main part of the plot, but it was engaging and well-written. Most Shakespearean romances are doomed, but Klein's story had a twist and was surprisingly simple and without drama. It had some drama and complexity of course, but the love story didn't build you up and then rip out your heart - which is a good thing!
Ratings (Out of 10):
Total: 50/50 (A!!)
The idea of Macbeth and his lady having a secret daughter was a wonderfully imagined plot twist to Macbeth. I think Shakespeare would approve! I'm definitely going to read Lisa Klein's first book, Ophelia, and can't wait to see what she comes up with next!