The Sonnet Lover
By Carol Goodman
(Ballantine Books, Hardcover, 9780345479570, 368pp.)
Publication Date: June 12, 2007
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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.
Carol Goodman is the author of The Lake of Dead Languages, The Seduction of Water, The Drowning Tree, and The Ghost Orchid. The Seduction of Water won the 2003 Hammett Prize, and her other novels have been nominated for the Dublin/IMPAC Award and the Simon & Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her fiction has been translated into eight languages. She teaches writing at the New School University in New York City.
Praise for Carol Goodman
The Lake of Dead Languages
“A wonderfully eerie sense of place . . . deeply atmospheric.”
–Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Like Donna Tartt’s A Secret History or a good film noir [this book will] keep readers hooked.”
–People (Page-turner of the Week)
The Seduction of Water
“Truly a seductive reading experience . . . grabs the reader on the first page and holds on for the entire journey.”
–The Denver Post
“Like the best mysteries, The Seduction of Water offers puzzles and twists galore but still tells a human story.”
–The Boston Globe
The Drowning Tree
“Deftly plotted and certainly intriguing . . . infused with the sinister aura of its setting . . . The Drowning Tree has its twists and shudders.”
–New York Daily News
“[A] captivating literary mystery of secrets old and new.”
The Ghost Orchid
“Seductive . . . Goodman has a flair for the stylistic flourishes of romantic suspense.”
–The New York Times Book Review
“Compelling reading, a classic page-turner for anyone who likes to be haunted by a good story.”
–Milwaukee Journal Sentinel