First Review of Lady Macbeth: On the Couch, by Renee Fletcher, English Teacher





“‘Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under't.’ So advises Lady Macbeth to her husband in Shakespeare's famous tragedy ‘Macbeth.’ Interestingly enough, Lady Macbeth could very well be taking her own advice. This devoted wife from Shakespeare's famous play is one of the most outrageous, enigmatic, and intriguing characters in all of literature. Lady Macbeth is infamous for her power of persuasion and manipulation. What is perhaps most interesting about Lady Macbeth is her motivation behind her manipulation, which leaves readers pondering: who is the woman behind the powerful man? This is the question that Alma Bond answers for readers in her novel Lady Macbeth: On the Couch. 
Bond blends historical record of the real Lady Macbeth with the character the world is acquainted with in Shakespeare's play. The result is a fascinating tale of a strong, discerning young woman named Gruoch (Lady Macbeth) determined to hold her own in a time when females had very little power. Readers are offered insight into Gruoch's life as a motherless child who revered her father, to a young woman embarking on her first (arranged) marriage, and finally, to what readers are most enthralled with -- her life and relationship with Macbeth. In this, Bond does not disappoint her readers. We are treated with details and insights that paint a colorful picture of Gruoch as a complex individual created by her life experiences. Additionally, the historical touches provide readers with a lens into Gruoch’s life not available in Shakespeare’s play. Last and certainly not least, readers are indulged with clever references to Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth, which offer a unique depth to this enigmatic character, and in some cases, a sense of humor typically not associated with Lady Macbeth. Readers will likely be captivated by Gruoch from simply reading the prologue. Fans of Shakespeare should be advised that Lady Macbeth: On the Couch is very much its own story. It is not Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ told from Lady Macbeth’s point of view. Instead, it is what literature lovers enjoy the most an intelligent treatment of the possible life of one the most infamous, mysterious female characters in all of literature. I plan to purchase Lady Macbeth: On the Couch as it will complement my 12th grade AP English Literature curriculum. My high school students always enjoy Shakespeare's "Macbeth" and are especially fascinated by the character of Lady Macbeth. They consistently desire more knowledge and insight into this character. This novel will actually serve as a great teaching companion to the play, as it is a wonderful example of the power of characterization in writing. If only I could afford an entire class set of this novel!”
-Renee Fletcher, English Teacher, Fitzgerald High School, Warren, MI (Greater Detroit area)
Bruce L. Bortz, Esq.
Publisher, Bancroft Press





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