«If We Were Villains»

Work: «If We Were Villains«
Author: M. L. Rio
Pages: 368
Edition: 1st
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Genre: Novel
Year: 2018
Language: English
Format: Rustic
ISBN: 978-1250095299

The title? Part of a sonnet recited by one of the novel’s characters on page 325, in a scene where I think the reader will understand how the plot will end. As the quote on the cover of the book says, this is a rare (but not extraordinary) novel. It is more like one of those movies you find on a languish and rainy afternoon, and you enjoy and love but never see again, a movie just for the mood. It is outstanding work, no doubt about that, but I don’t like how the plot ends.

As you will see, dear reader, if you look on the Internet, you will find a lot of comments and summaries on this book, even on Wikipedia. So anyone can get an idea of what this novel is about. So, this blog entry is about some other thoughts.

For some reason, when I started to read this book, the way the story describes the environment where the plot is developing led me to think that this story was written not only for someone who loves Shakespeare and was closely related to the theatre or literature but for someone who also was entirely compenetrated with his work and a Shakespearean academic environment. So, it wasn’t a surprise to know that the author has worked in bookstores and theaters for years and was pursuing her master’s degree in Shakespearean studies at King’s College London.

I couldn’t help but think about how much this novel would reflect what she was living through at school or what she imagined (or desired?) to live at school. Anyway, I can imagine having this first work published was a dream come true for this writer, and her life is like that kind of story we see in the movies about writers doing their first work as a huge success.

By the way, at least in this edition, in the end, there is a section of questions that made this book appropriate for a book club or for a school assignment. Finally, I have to say that the end is bad, quite bad. A book to read and enjoy once, not more.

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