It’s a far-fetched premise even for the most seasoned time traveler: sixteen-year-old Miranda is spirited back to Elizabethan England by fellow actor Stephen Langford to rescue William Shakespeare from joining the priesthood. If they are successful, the world will know the sonnets and plays of the Bard; if not, Miranda will return to a very different modern-day Boston. The plan? Miranda, acting as Stephen’s sister, Olivia, will seduce a teenage William Shakespeare, thus convincing him that he is unfit for the priesthood. Debut author Mingle makes good use of Shakespeare’s “lost years” as she weaves an improbable but no less fascinating story of a contemporary young woman coping with the harsh yet courtly conditions of rural sixteenth-century England. Olivia, Stephen, and Shakespeare all play a rather predictable romantic cat-and-mouse game, but there’s just enough violence, intrigue, and suspense to keep readers on their toes. Although she takes certain liberties with Olivia’s involvement in Shakespeare’s writing process, Mingle remains true to the history and events of the era, thus revealing the challenge of living in a time of religious persecution and suppression of women. Grades 7-12. --Frances Bradburn
School Library Journal, August 2012:
"This novel is definitely a cut above the typical teen romance. A delightful story about star-crossed, time-traveling lovers."Booklist, September 15, 2012:
"Mingle remains true to the history and events of the era, thus revealing the challenge of living in a time of religious persecution and suppression of women."