Jennifer Armstrong
July 25, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Love in Idleness

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Amanda Craig
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B-

With slapstick confusion, magic potions, and Shakespearean references galore, Craig crafts a modern-day Midsummer Night’s Dream in the story of a husband and wife vacationing at an Italian villa with their wacky friends and family. But often her efforts to re-create the Bard’s tale prove more distracting than enchanting. (Must the Nick Bottom-like Guy have actual tufts of hair on his ears and a ”braying laugh”?) The beginning doesn’t show Shakespeare’s knack for cutting straight to the drama — Craig luxuriates too long in idleness before showing the love. The conclusion, however, manages to surprise in a way old Will never dreamed of.

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