All Our Yesterdays: A Novel of Lady Macbeth (Hardcover)

All Our Yesterdays: A Novel of Lady Macbeth By Joel H. Morris Cover Image

All Our Yesterdays: A Novel of Lady Macbeth (Hardcover)


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A propulsive and piercing debut, set ten years before the events of Shakespeare’s historic play, about the ambition, power, and fate that define one of literature’s most notorious figures: Lady Macbeth.

Scotland, the 11th Century. Born in a noble household and granddaughter of a forgotten Scottish king, a young girl carries the guilt of her mother’s death and the weight of an unknowable prophecy. When she is married, at fifteen, to the Mormaer of Moray, she experiences firsthand the violence of a sadistic husband and a kingdom constantly at war. To survive with her young son in a superstitious realm, she must rely on her own cunning and wit, especially when her husband’s downfall inadvertently sets them free.

Suspicious of the dark devices that may have led to his father’s death, her son watches as his mother falls in love with the enigmatic thane Macbeth. Now a woman of stature, Lady Macbeth confronts a world of masculine power and secures the protection of her family. But the coronation of King Duncan and the political maneuvering of her cousin Macduff set her on a tragic course, one where her own success might mean embracing the very curse that haunts her and risking the child she loves.
Joel H. Morris has a PhD in comparative literary studies from Northwestern University. Recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, he has worked as a bookseller, sailor, and teacher, and lives near Denver, Colorado. All Our Yesterdays is his debut novel.
Product Details ISBN: 9780593715383
ISBN-10: 0593715381
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication Date: March 12th, 2024
Pages: 368
Language: English
A CrimeReads Most Anticipated Book
A Most Anticipated Historical Fiction Pick
A BookBub Best Historical Fiction Pick

"All Our Yesterdays is already drawing comparisons to Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet should have literature nerds frothing at the bit.” Paste

“Lady Macbeth is surely one of our most instantly recognizable characters, a shorthand now for heartless and overweening ambition. In All Our Yesterdays, Morris has given her the deep, nuanced, and complicated backstory she deserves. With witches! Thoroughly engrossing, highly recommended.” –Karen Joy Fowler, author of Booth and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

“Hail, Macbeth! A stunning meditation on the auspiciousness of silence, and intergenerational anguish. The evolution of Shakespeare’s Medea is a marvel to behold by Morris’s pen. I could not put this book down.” –Isa Arsén, author of Shoot the Moon

“[A] beautiful interpretation, which is so rich in its descriptions and well-crafted characters. . . A most enjoyable setup for the Scottish play.” Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“Thoughtful, eerie, and full of medieval magic, Morris’ take on the much-maligned lady will perhaps have you rooting for her and her partner, or at least, feeling some sympathy for her quest of vengeance.” –CrimeReads

“All characters are drawn with inventiveness and depth. . . Entirely illuminating. . . [A] beautifully realized tale of a daughter, mother, and wife ultimately at the mercy of Fate’s unknowable interventions.” Booklist

“Outstanding. . . What really makes the novel a standout [is] how seamlessly [Morris] incorporates elements of Shakespeare's play into the narrative while still making the work his own. . . Highly recommend[ed] to anyone who enjoys well-crafted historical fiction, particularly narratives set in the Middle Ages.” BookBrowse

“[A] wonderfully atmospheric novel. Morris drops the reader into a fully realized 11th-century world with all the sights and sounds. Carefully chosen words and small details shape this fearful and foreboding world. . . [A] rich study of one of the most vilified literary characters.” Historical Novels Review

“As sharp and cutting as an obsidian dagger, Joel H. Morris’s All Our Yesterdays dives deep into Lady Macbeth’s backstory, replacing desire with fear, calculation with grief, and loss, not ambition, as the spark that ignites her bloody journey. You’ll never read Shakespeare’s play the same way again.” –Liz Michalski, author of Darling Girl
“A gorgeous evocation of a mother and son in a prison of their own too-powerful story, All Our Yesterdays is a triumph of both research and imagination, a heartbreaking and revelatory read.” –Jennifer Croft, author of The Extinction of Irena Rey

“Richly atmospheric, All Our Yesterdays takes the familiar material as a departure point and gives fresh voice to a woman maligned by history, tracing a mother’s unlikely rise to power and infusing it with political intrigue, dark magic, and the searing heartache of parenthood.” –Olga Grushin, author of The Charmed Wife and Forty Rooms

“Intriguing. . . Crisp, no-nonsense prose conveys the narrative’s gathering darkness [and] Morris intelligently explores the era’s gender dynamics. . . [An] entertaining prequel to Shakespeare’s complex and haunting tragedy.” Publishers Weekly