Set Me Free is the story of how Shakespeare saved Salvatore Striano’s life. Salvatore, an Italian prisoner who grew up in a gang in Naples, discovers a love of reading and theatre while in prison which completely changes his life. The story shows what Salvatore was like before he discovered reading. I enjoyed this part of the novel. I found his explanations of the prison system interesting. By showing his life before reading and then the changes in his life as he starts to read and then after a love for reading has developed we are able to see his growth as a person.
While I enjoyed watching the growth of Salvatore there were a few things that made this a difficult reading for me. The writing was very simple. This book is a book in translation and I don’t know if the simple writing is the author’s style or translation. The narrator had a very self righteous manner and there were way to many pages of personal opinions. There were also a lot of instances where it felt like he was bragging about all the people who looked up to him which turned me off. The author had good points to make. I just prefer not to be lectured when I read a book but to figure things out on my own.
I did love reading about how much Shakespeare means to the author. He has the ability to get way more out of Shakespeare than I ever have. He knows how to apply characters in Shakespeare’s plays to his life and is able to learn from them which I find very admirable.
My copy of Set Me Free was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!