In this smart and funny novel by Lian Dolan, Elizabeth Lancaster is an English Professor at a Community College, enjoying her courses where she introduces students to the pleasures of reading Shakespeare. In a family of high achievers (sisters who are a physician/researcher and a congressman’s wife, a judgmental mother and a Nobel-prize winning physicist father) Elizabeth feels a bit left out, but she loves exposing her students to the language and magic of Shakespeare’s plays. Her ex-husband–now a famous action star in films–wants to prove he is a legitimate actor by appearing in a play at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and he wants Elizabeth to help him wade through the intricacies of a Shakespeare production. She agrees to spend the summer helping him while she writes a book about the connections between love in Shakespeare’s characters and in today’s culture. Elizabeth re-invents herself and finds her life transformed in one summer. Elizabeth the First Wife is a delightfully witty story about love and finding your passion in life. Dolan intersperses each chapter with various comparison between Shakespeare’s characters and modern pop culture figures, with hilarious results. Filled with quirky yet believable characters, this gem of a book is entertaining and amusing–a great summer read!