Miranda and Caliban
Every Shakespeare scholar has a favorite play, and I am no exception. From the first time I read his Tempest I was in love. I was entranced by the magic of the story and Prospero’s complicated character. Jacqueline Carey approaches the story from a much different direction, giving us Miranda’s point of view in her book Mirada and Caliban, and I was hopeful that it would be a masterful retelling of the story.
From the time Prospero conjures Caliban from the forest and tries to civilize him, it is clear that it is only Miranda who can bring him out of his feral state. The two of them form a friendship that helps him learn to be human and gives her the companionship she desperately needs while her father works his magic and weaves his spells. Their relationship will become complicated by adolescence and the onset of feelings neither has been taught to understand.
Carey successfully moves between the characters of Miranda and Caliban to tell the story from their very different points of view. The reader can see the development of Caliban’s intelligence as the book progresses and can witness the internal turmoil of Miranda’s mind. Though as a love story it falls flat, the author’s often stunning prose makes it a worthwhile read.
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