Book Review: By Any Other Name by Jodi Picoult


My book review of By Any Other Name by Jodi Picoult. An enthralling masterpiece that captivates from the very first page to the last.

Title: By Any Other Name

By: Jodi Picoult

Genre: Historical Fiction

Pages: 528

Release Date: August 20th, 2024

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Rating: ★★★★★


Summary from Goodreads:

Two women, centuries apart—one of whom is the real author of Shakespeare’s plays—are both forced to hide behind another name to make their voices heard.

In 1581, Emilia Bassano—like most young women of her day—is allowed no voice of her own. But as the Lord Chamberlain’s mistress, she has access to all theater in England, and finds a way to bring her work to the stage secretly. And yet, creating some of the world’s greatest dramatic masterpieces comes at great cost: by paying a man for the use of his name, she will write her own out of history.

In the present, playwright Melina Green has just written a new work inspired by the life of her Elizabethan ancestor Emilia Bassano. Although the challenges are different four hundred years later, the playing field is still not level for women in theater. Would Melina—like Emilia—be willing to forfeit her credit as author, just for a chance to see her work performed?

Told in intertwining narratives, this sweeping tale of ambition, courage, and desire asks what price each woman is willing to pay to see their work live on—even if it means they will be forgotten.

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From the outset, Picoult weaves a tapestry of emotions, characters, and conflicts that are as intricate as they are relatable. The narrative unfolds with a seamless blend of past and present, offering glimpses into the characters’ lives that are both illuminating and poignant.

I love Jodi Picoult. Her stories draw me in and I can't put them down. I'm now wondering if Shakespeare really did write his own works, or was it a strong woman who had no other choice. Food for thought.

5 out of 5 stars. This is a must read this summer.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

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