Until John Wilson met the warm, wise woman who became his fourth wife, the object of his most intense devotion had always been the work of William Shakespeare. From his feat of memorizing Romeo and Juliet and half a dozen other plays as a student to his evangelical zeal as a professor, John's faith in the Bard has shaped his life. But now his mental powers have been diminished by dementia, and his wife has reluctantly moved him to a residential care facility. Even there, as he struggles to understand what's going on around him, John's knowledge of the plays helps him make sense of his fractured world.
Yet, when his only child, Mirandawith whom he has not spoken since a devastating misunderstanding a decade agocomes to visit, John begins to question some of his deepest convictions. In his devotion to Shakespeare, did he lose his way? Did he wrong the child who wronged him? The story of an imperfect father and a wounded daughter's efforts to achieve some authentic connection even now, Still Time is a rare novel that celebrates redemption and ends on a resounding note of hope, reminding us that there is always time to live fully and love deeply, so long as we are alive.
Published3 October 2017
Dimensions5.50 x 8.25in.
About the author
Jean Hegland is the author of the novels Into the Forest and Windfalls. Into the Forest, a BookSense Reading Group Pick, Readers Choice Book Club Favorite, and Book of the Month Club alternative pick, has been translated into nine languages. She lives in Healdsburg, California.
"Anyone who knows only fragments of Shakespeare will be fascinated and deeply moved by this insightful story of a Shakespeare scholar experiencing dementia. Fellow Shakespeareans will delight in the way the myriad allusions to the plays are intertwined with beautifully crafted elegiac descriptions of the old man's life in a home and his dissolving family memories. Still Time is a novel Shakespeare would be proud of." David Crystal, author of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language and Shakespeare's Words
"The tone of Still Time is deceptively quiet. Why then did I read it with heart-pounding excitement? Because it is, from start to finish, a high-wire act of literary daring. Only a master could bring off this feat. Jean Hegland brings it off." Rebecca Goldstein, author of Plato at the Googleplex
"This book is for anyone who appreciates a beautifully written, character-driven story . . . Heartbreaking in the best possible way." Booklist, starred review
"Just as Into the Forest, Jean Hegland haunts yet again in Still Time, a highly evocative read, managing to strike with pinpoint accuracy at several raw emotions. It's also a wonderfully intelligent read and Jean [Hegland] deftly weaves in characters and prose from Shakespeare's greatest, expertly creating connections between these references and John's deteriorating thoughts. Absolutely recommended." Portsmouth Review
"An absolutely riveting read from beginning to end . . . Jean Hegland is a superb novelist whose deftly crafted characters and thoroughly absorbing story make this one of those all to rare novels that will linger in the mind and memory long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf . . . Very highly recommended." Midwest Book Review
"A poignant story about loss. . . . this is a novel which will resonate for Shakespeare enthusiasts, academics, and those with only a school knowledge of Shakespeare . . . Read it and experience the power of words once more, as love and Shakespeare bind audience and characters together in perfect harmony. Still Time is a heart-warming novel." theshakespearestandard.com
"Still Time isn't a derivative version of any Shakespeare play, but it contains multitudes. . . . This isn't a tearjerkerthough it's likely to make you cry. This isn't a simple narrativethough it's clear. This isn't a story about recovery from lossthough it provides thoughts on that subject." Bardfilm, The Shakespeare and Film Microblog
"I'm not sure if it's heartbreakingly beautiful or beautifully heartbreaking . . . I recommend it very highly." The Bill Shakespeare Project