Questions surrounding his parents’ deaths have haunted Noah Lamarck for almost thirty years. Now he copes with a grandfather suffering from dementia and an overwhelmed grandmother, the two people who raised him in Cape Breton. Money is tight and problems multiply. After relocating to Toronto to help his estranged wife care for their son, Noah is laid off from the Fisher Rare Book Library.
Growing desperate, he seizes an unexpected lifeline. Noah and his friend, graduate student Cecelia Lines, agree to investigate new evidence of Shakespeare’s life for an eccentric bibliophile. But the more they delve into the playwright’s life, the more they are drawn into each other’s; and despite their growing feelings for one another, their divided loyalties leave them increasingly at odds and vulnerable to the manipulations of their employer.
So unfolds a drama of love, sex, family histories, obsessions, and manipulations. Noah and Cecelia must navigate to save themselves, and Noah’s family, from ruin. From the Cape Breton seacoast to the streets of Toronto to 16th-century London, the past is always present in Full Fadom Five.
Straddling the English Renaissance and the turn of the millennium, Full Fadom Five wrestles with the question every culture, and every human being, must eventually ask: what shall we carry forward, and what shall we leave behind?