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The Sonnet Lover by Carol Goodman
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The Sonnet Lover

by Carol Goodman

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I listened to this book on audio and I must admit that for a murder mystery it was rather weak. The murderer was quite obvious and there were too many coincidences that happened throughout the book that I found this book to be totally unbelievable. The main character, Rose, was very hard to connect to as she had no depth to her character. All in all, I was rather disappointed but I will try another one of her books as I have seen some good reviews from readers of her novels. ( )
  EadieB | Jun 2, 2017 |
Like all of Goodman's stories, The Sonnet Lover is a novel of suspense, of literary and mythological intrigue, of subtle romance. Set in the ethereal sprawling Tuscan estate of La Civetta, sonnet expert and literary professor Rose Asher is drawn into the mysterious circumstances surrounding William Shakespeare and his enigmatic Dark Lady and the supposed link between their story and the historic residents of the villa. An intriguing plot line threaded with murder, poetry, and sumptuous imagery, The Sonnet Lover unfortunately falls a bit flat in other areas and pales in comparison to Goodman's other novels. ( )
  GennaC | May 9, 2017 |
I'm not really sure why I got this book out of the library. I picked it up randomly and flicked through it, since it was about sonnets and Shakespeare and I've been interested in that kind of thing lately thanks to my courses, and found myself reading it and then curious enough to take it out. The writing itself is reasonably absorbing -- it's in first person, which I didn't like all that much at first, but the descriptions are quite lovely and Carol Goodman does create quite a clear sense of location.

The plot itself is quite ridiculous. It's like The Da Vinci Code, only the danger feels a little ridiculous -- so much violence and murder over a series of poems? It doesn't feel realistic. The action is driven by a series of coincidences and the suspense is kept up mainly by the fact that the narrative is in first person and the narrator didn't want to see the truth. I didn't really get a strong sense of character from the book, at all. The strongest character was maybe that of Mara, a rather neurotic woman who was murdered -- and she was probably only distinctive because of her neuroses.

I did keep reading to find out the end, but all in all it felt like a ridiculously melodramatic book. It only gets two stars because I did like some of the description and the background story of [b:William Shakespeare|18135|Romeo and Juliet|William Shakespeare|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51XTDJ3P4XL._SL75_.jpg|3349450] and Ginevra de Laura, and it did keep me occupied for a while instead of getting tossed swiftly. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
The only other book I have read by Carol Goodman is "The Night Villa" and I vastly preferred "The Sonnet Lover." Both novels rely on a variety of implasible coincidences, but for some reason "The Sonnet Lover" kept my attention more firmly and kept me reading more enthusiastically. I've visited Florence and love Tuscany; I'm also a major fan of Shakespeare's sonnets. The mystery plot had a number of odd flaws and I figured out early on what was really happening with the death of Robin Weiss. But I didn't manage to unravel the entire mystery, which is all I ask. One major complaint: I know that Carol Goodman collaborates with her husband (he's her poet), so she's probably not writing from her current situation, but in both of the books I have read, the female protagonist falls for obvious bad guys; even though they are college professors and seem to be emotinally stable, the women make incredibly stupid choices involving men. It's just such a cliche and leads the reader to doubt the narrtor's judgement in all things. Maybe Goodman does it to make these women seem more like the rest of us, but I find it annoying. ( )
  krbrancolini | Jul 25, 2011 |
Really enjoyed this book the sort you have to continue reading non-stop...great author...another success! ( )
  ilurvebooks | Dec 9, 2010 |
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To Lee, my sonnet lover
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The most thankless job on the planet may well be teaching renaissance love poetry to a group of hormone-dazed adolescents on a beautiful spring day.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345479572, Hardcover)

For how thy memory has lingered on–
In spite of cruelest winter’s drear and howl–
By inner mirror seen; I’ve dwelled upon,
I must confess, my treachery most foul.


Did Shakespeare pen a series of passionate sonnets, unknown to modern scholarship, ardently praising a mysterious dark-haired beauty? This tantalizing question is raised in a letter to literature professor Rose Asher. But the letter’s author, Rose’s star pupil, is not telling. A troubled, enigmatic young man, he plunged to his death in front of the college’s entire faculty, an apparent suicide. Determined to find the truth, Rose journeys from New York to Italy, back to the magnificent Tuscan villa where as an undergraduate she first fell in love.

La Civetta is a dreamlike place, resplendent with the heady scent of lemon trees and the sunset’s ocher wash across its bricks and cobbles. Once there Rose finds her first love still in residence. Torn between her mission and her rekindled feelings, Rose becomes enmeshed in a treacherous tangle of secrets and scandal. A folio containing what some believe to be one of Shakespeare’s lost sonnets has vanished, and literary immortality awaits whoever finds the manuscript–as do a vast Italian estate and a Hollywood movie deal. Uncertain whom she can trust and where she can turn, Rose races against time and unseen enemies in a bid to find the missing masterpiece.

Lush, lyrical, and enthralling, The Sonnet Lover vividly brings to life the Tuscan countryside and the fascinating world of the Renaissance poets. Unmatched in her ability to evoke atmosphere and intrigue, Carol Goodman delivers her most ambitious and satisfying work to date, a seductive novel that skillfully propels its reader headlong to the final suspenseful page.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:12 -0400)

Investigating the apparent suicide of a promising student, an American poetry professor travels to Tuscany, where she finds evidence of manuscripts of unknown Shakespeare sonnets, addressed to the Dark Lady.

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