What’s that you say? A book centered around Shakespeare AND academia? Yes, I WOULD like to know more.

As someone with both a deep and abiding love for the Bard and a personal understanding of the ins and outs of small liberal arts colleges, I was always going to be interested in a book like Mona Awad’s “All’s Well” (Simon & Schuster, $27). However, while that introductory elevator pitch was enough to get me in the door, could it keep me there?

Reader, it most assuredly could. And did.

This is a darkly funny and strange tale, the story of a woman whose professional and personal missteps (both figurative and literal) have left her in a bleak and hopeless place. It’s the story of what can happen when passion curdles into something else, something powered by self-loathing and anger, all of it set against a backdrop of a theatre professor who makes a bargain that she doesn’t understand in a desperate hope to turn around the life she sees slipping away.

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