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Lady Macbeth's Daughter Hardcover – October 13, 2009

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Product Details

  • Series: AWARDS: Arkansas Teen Awards 2011
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; First Edition edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599903474
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599903477
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,074,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up—This reworking of Macbeth is told in alternating points of view by Albia, Macbeth's daughter, and Grelach, her mother and Macbeth's wife. Because Albia is born with a crippled foot, Macbeth orders that she be killed. Grelach's servant rescues her, and she is raised by Rhuven's sisters. Albia grows up ignorant of her true heritage, believing herself to be Geillis's daughter. She realizes that she has second sight, and she begins to foresee terrifying, bloody events that are to come. After Macbeth murders King Duncan, Geillis sends her to be fostered by Banquo and his family. As the Scottish kingdom falls into even greater disorder under Macbeth's tyranny, Albia finds out the truth about her birth, and she must decide if she should use her gifts to overthrow her father and help bring order to the realm once again. A number of sections of the book are based directly on scenes from the play. This is a strong feminist reenvisioning of the original that raises issues about the treatment and social positions of women at the time. Grelach, Lady Macbeth, is far more sympathetic than in Shakespeare's version, and Albia is a compelling character who fights for the good of her country and refuses to allow anyone to use her as a political pawn. Klein has gone to historical sources predating Shakespeare's primary source, Holinshed's Chronicles, and has restored some of the history Shakespeare changed, most notably by including the character of Luoch, Grelach's son by her first husband. A great choice for teen book groups.—Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ
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About the Author

Lisa Klein is the author of Ophelia and Two Girls of Gettysburg. A former professor of English, she lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her family.

Customer Reviews

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Lady Macbeth's Daughter is a terrific read.
Margaret McMullan
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!
If you love Shakespeare or action romances this is a great book to read.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Books and Literature for Teens (BLT) on May 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
My first Klein book was Two Girls of Gettysburg. The end was breathtaking. Lady MacBeth's Daughter? An absolute masterpiece. I think Shakespeare would be happy to know that Macbeth is being enjoyed by teens once again. Filled with emotion and a exciting dramatic climax, Klein has done it again with this historical and mythical tale of Scotland's murderous king. Aliba, our heroine, is faced with a series of difficult choices; with every decision, the plot takes a another nail-biting turn. I love historical fiction because you always get a little something out of it, if not a lot. You get to wander through a past time period and enjoy an adventure. I usually like historical fiction--even if it is a bit slow at times--but that's just me. For those who like to be kept on the edge of your seat, well good news! Albia doesn't wait for adventure to happen, she finds it! Even hesitant readers might want to take a look at this book! Overall I think Lady Macbeth's Daughter is a thrilling novel dripping with romance and adventure and a surprising twist. I have not yet read Shakespeare's Macbeth, but this book is sure to help me through it or better yet, help bring it to life.

|Age Group: YA, ages 14+|Content: Sensuality; not recommend for anyone under 13 (PG-13)|
|Recommend? Yes, to teen ages 14+
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Herman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In this novel, set in 11th century Scotland, author Lisa Klein starts with the premise that Macbeth and his wife had a baby daughter, born with a deformed leg. Macbeth, in his anger that she was not the healthy son he longed for, left the infant to die. Lady Macbeth, not much more than a girl herself in a time when women had no power, was helpless to stop him, and grieves the death of her daughter as well as the subsequent pregnancies she loses, believing herself cursed. These losses shape her character and set the stage for the tragic events she later participates in.

What neither of them know, however, is that their baby daughter did not die. She was saved by Lady Macbeth's serving woman, Rhuven, who took her to live with her sisters in the Wychelm Wood. The sisters name the child Albia, and the little girl grows up believing one of the sisters to be her mother. The years pass by peacefully, until the year Albia turns fifteen and great turmoil comes to Scotland. King Duncan is murdered, and Albia is sent to live with a foster family - Banquo, his wife Breda, and their son Fleance. And there is turmoil inside Albia as well - she is confused by her feelings for the attractive but maddening Fleance, and she longs to know the identity of her father. When she learns the truth about her heritage - and that her birth parents murdered the king in order to seize the throne - she struggles with her feelings of revulsion at what her parents have done and determines that she must destroy them and bring peace and justice to Scotland.

Lady Macbeth's Daughter is a rather interesting and complex novel. It is mainly told from the point of view of Albia, although we also see some events from the point of view of Lady Macbeth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tara VINE VOICE on October 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This was pretty good for a YA novel. It is a version of William Shakespeare's MacBeth as told from the viewpoint of Macbeth's and Lady Macbeth's daughter if she had existed. It goes back and forth from Albia, the daughter (who was thrown to the wolves for being a cripple), and Grelach aka Lady MacBeth. Readers will see how MacBeth wrongfully attains the kingship of Scotland and how Grelach assisted him. There is a rebellion among the thanes as MacBeth starts to lose his mind due to the guilt he feels from his bloody actions.

While the rebellion is rising against the king, Albia is being raised by some "witches" in the forest and she also has the "sight" or ability to see the future. Her "sight" plays a major role in the actions of MacBeth. When Albia is sent to live with a wealthy thane she falls in love with the nobelmans's son as well as learns her true parentage. She must deal with the knowledge that she is spawned from "monsters" and some deep emotional questions arise regarding forgiveness and revenge.

She learns to yield a sword and hold a shield and these weapons of war as well as her sight and a horse and a few of her friends begin a journey to save Scotland from the mad king. The ending holds confrontations with both of her biological parents. Does Albia have the ability to forgive?

Four stars instead of five because I have read Susan Fraser King's "Lady MacBeth" and preferred her version to this one. This one has both MacBeth and his wife appearing as greedy, power hungry tyrants when in actuality, MacBeth ruled a peaceful Scotland for 6 years. For the young adult crowd, however, this is a great re telling of the Shakepeare tale.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Compulsive Reader VINE VOICE on November 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Albia is secretly the daughter of Macbeth, but thanks to a deformity at birth, she was taken away from Lady Macbeth and secretly sent to live with three mysterious sisters. There, she lives quietly, until disorder comes to Scotland and Macbeth wants to consult with these sisters to learn his fortune. Albia is sent away and she falls in love her father's opponent...and discovers strange powers. She must make a choice--become involved, or ignore what she foresees.

Lady Macbeth's Daughter is a riveting, interesting, and very entertaining story that is complex, yet is seamlessly aligned with William Shakespeare's Macbeth. Albia is a strong, likable heroine, and her story and voice are compelling. Klein's writing is very detailed, and the novel develops between two points of view, Albia's and occasionally Lady Macbeth's. There is a lot of character growth as Albia matures and learns the truth about her parents and their natures, and also grapples with her feelings for Fleance. Though the romance was not especially deep or memorable, it was sweet.

Klein's novel is very clever and one can't help but admire her for the way she builds her characters, each event in the book somehow shaping and forming who they are and how the act. Her character development and more in depth examination of these characters may be interesting for some, as Shakespeare oftentimes leaves his character motivations vague and undefined. After reading this story, readers may come away with a better understanding of each character and the story of Macbeth. This is a very insightful, remarkable read.
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More About the Author

I am a lifelong reader and lover of words who said to myself one day, "Maybe I can write a novel." So in 2001 I sat down and began writing Ophelia, which was published in 2006. By that time I had completed a Ph.D., taught English literature as an assistant professor for nine years, married, had two sons, and finished two nonfiction books. Oh, and read more books than I can possibly recall. But one of my favorites growing up was Gone With the Wind, which I read seven times as a teenager. Thirty-odd years later, I wrote my own Civil War novel, Two Girls of Gettysburg. And the high-school parody of Macbeth that won our class first place in the homecoming skit competition eventually morphed into more sophisticated retellings of Shakespeare: Ophelia and Lady Macbeth's Daughter. I love doing research for my novels and retelling history and Shakespeare's plays from a fresh, female-centered perspective.
I live in Columbus, Ohio with my husband, two teenage sons, a dog and a cat.
You can visit my website at

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