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Love Disguised

Love Disguised

3.0 1
by Lisa Klein

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Will Shakespeare is about to meet the girl who will change his life forever. After a mixed-up courtship with the Hathaway sisters ends badly, Will jumps at the chance to go to London, where he can pursue his dream of becoming an actor. There, Will meets the unusually tall (and strong) Meg who has earned the nickname "Long Meg" for her height. She's also fleeing her


Will Shakespeare is about to meet the girl who will change his life forever. After a mixed-up courtship with the Hathaway sisters ends badly, Will jumps at the chance to go to London, where he can pursue his dream of becoming an actor. There, Will meets the unusually tall (and strong) Meg who has earned the nickname "Long Meg" for her height. She's also fleeing her own past as an orphan turned thief. Disguised as "Mack," Meg was once a member of a band of boy thieves who betrayed her. When Will is robbed by those same villains, Meg disguises herself as "Mack" again--telling Will that Mack is her twin brother--in order to help Will recover his money. As Mack, she finds true friendship with Will. But is there more? And who is Meg really fooling with her disguise?

What ensues is a tale involving love triangles, mistaken identities, and the pursuit of hapless villains, as Shakespeare becomes a key player in a lively drama that could have sprung from his own pen.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
After Meg Macdougall loses both of her parents in a quick succession of tragedies, she takes up residence as a barmaid at the Boar’s Head Inn, where she eventually meets a young Will Shakespeare. Will is just to London after being tricked by Anne Hathaway into having sex with her, believing Anne is her younger sister. Soon 15-year-old Meg and her friend Violetta get swept up into helping Will with his new play. After Will is robbed, Meg offers up the assistance of her (invented) twin brother, Mack, in avenging Will’s honor and pocketbook. From there, Will and Mack (who is actually Meg in disguise) try to find the thieves and avoid jail on account of Will’s father’s debts. Klein’s (Ophelia; Lady Macbeth’s Daughter) prose is cheerful, lively, and full of historical and literary tidbits to delight Shakespeare fans, as Meg/Mack’s relationship with Will vacillates between friendship and romance. Weaving fact with fiction, Klein’s novel plays up her own Shakespearean wit and takes full advantage of her extensive knowledge of his life and plays. Ages 12–up. (Aug.)
VOYA - Mary Ann Darby
What was Will Shakespeare like in his late teens? Why did he marry twenty-six-year-old Anne Hathaway? And where, oh, where did he find the inspiration for his amazing plays? As with two of her other books (Ophelia [Bloomsbury, 2006/VOYA February 2007], Lady Macbeth's Daughter [Bloomsbury, 2009/VOYA February 2010]), Klein creates a story with a basis in Shakespeare's life and works to explore answers to such questions. Set primarily in both London and Stratford-upon-Avon in 1582, Will is trying to avoid learning glove-making from his father, while a teen orphan from a dodgy background, named Long Meg (because of her extraordinary height), escapes from trouble by taking work at the Boar's Head Inn. There she runs into Olivia, a young woman running from the man who wants to marry her, and a young man named Will who wants to be an actor and playwright. Will, however, also needs to recover the twenty-five crowns he has been robbed of so he can pay off a debt for his father. When Meg decides to disguise herself as her "twin brother" Mack so she can help Will in London's streets, complications and misadventures of the pocketbook and heart ensue, as Will becomes a friend of Mack and inspired by Meg. But, of course, in the end, all is resolved and well. Klein clearly knows her Shakespearean London, creating characters both endearing and comical. Long Meg is especially appealing and intrepid. For those who have no knowledge of Shakespeare or his early life, the beginning chapters that bounce back and forth between Stratford and London might be confusing, but as all of the main players gather at the Boar's Head in London, the story moves apace with humor involving a love triangle (or is it a square?), mistaken identities, and villains. Students of both junior and senior high school who have some knowledge of Shakespeare and his times will delight in this tale that is part Shakespeare in Love and part Shakespearean comedy. Reviewer: Mary Ann Darby
Children's Literature - Jeanna Sciarrotta
Meet young Will Shakespeare before he was the playwright; when he was just a teenage boy looking to escape the messiness of a love triangle and launch his career as a budding young actor. Eager for an opportunity to leave his small town behind, Will volunteers to go to London in order to settle some debts for his father. Along the way he meets Meg—an orphan turned thief turned waitress, who is also trying to escape her past. When Will is robbed, however, Meg dresses up as her pretend twin brother "Mack" in order to help him find the thieves. Together Will and "Mack" establish a friendship that for Meg threatens to turn into something much more. In a story that would delight the Bard, himself, Lisa Klein spins a story of villains and love, mistaken identities and gender mix ups. This well-written, delightful twist on the story of who exactly Young Shakespeare was and how he arrived on the scene in London should definitely find its way into many high school classrooms. It is bound to intrigue and prompt a lively discussion and blur the lines between fact and fiction that young Shakespeareans will want to believe. Reviewer: Jeanna Sciarrotta
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—This novel begins slowly but quickly builds steam. Young and charismatic Will Shakespeare longs to escape Stratford to become a playwright in London, an occupation frowned on by his father. Fate and duty seem to interweave as Will is sent to London to deal with his father's debt. There he meets his muse, a witty and savvy barmaid named Long Meg, who is attempting to escape her past. When Will is robbed, Meg offers the help of her brother Mack (Long Meg in disguise). The two work together to recover Will's fortune and settle his father's debt as they work together to realize Will's dreams. Chapters alternate between Will's story and Meg's, giving readers a chance to know both of them. The novel contains many allusions to the Bard's works that fans will delight in, while readers unfamiliar with them will enjoy the story on its own merit. The author includes a note highlighting the historical facts that influenced her tale as well as some resources for further reading. Love Disguised will leave readers inspired to delve into the works of Shakespeare and discover Klein's sources of inspiration.—Tiffany Davis, Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Innovative and ambitious, this portrait of young Will Shakespeare doesn't quite succeed. Assisting his improvident father, a Stratford glover, Will dreams of escaping to become an actor. He gets his wish when a midnight rendezvous with one of the Hathaway sisters goes awry, and his father sends him to London to negotiate a debt. Concurrently, left to shift for herself after her father's death in prison and her mother's suicide, young Londoner Meg survives by petty crime until she's offered employment by kindly innkeepers. Will and Meg meet, but Meg is too late to rescue him from thieves who prey on rubes. While Will frets about repairing his fortunes, Meg concocts schemes to make it happen. Soon, Will's career as playwright and actor takes off, and Meg--thanks to her quick wit and acting chops--serves as his muse. Meg's an appealing character, but naïve and selfish Will's hard to like. Labored subplots based on mistaken identity and cross-dressing slow the action considerably. Meant to evoke the Bard of Avon's comedies, they clash with the vivid portrayal of the harsh Elizabethan world and Meg's brutal past depicted elsewhere in the novel. What's hilarious (to some) onstage is problematic in fiction with an otherwise realistic bent. Risk-taking and thought-provoking fiction, best suited to readers who cherish Shakespearean slapstick. (author's note, bibliography) (Historical fiction. 14 & up)

Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Lisa Klein is the author of Cate of the Lost Colony, Lady Macbeth's Daughter, Two Girls of Gettysburg, and Ophelia. A former professor of English, she lives in Ohio with her family.

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Love Disguised 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a okay book in my oppion it didnt have all of the nessacary book development it should but it was good enough compared to a lot of other books ive read and i think everyone should give it a chance and focous on the possitives and not the nevatives.