It is 1997 and Noah Lamarck’s life is a mess. Laid off work as a librarian, with his estranged wife and child in need of money, and the trauma of his father’s mysterious suicide unresolved, he struggles to find a way forward. A persevering man, but running out of options, Noah is thrown an unexpected lifeline: when long lost evidence of Shakespeare’s life is uncovered, an eccentric bibliophile hires Noah and his friend, graduate student Cecelia Lines, to investigate.
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 tensions, financial burdens, obsessions, and devious manipulations which Noah and Cecelia, like players in a Shakespearean romance of star-crossed lovers, must navigate to save not only themselves, but Noah’s family from ruin.
Set in places as varied as the seacoast of Cape Breton, the streets of Toronto, and Shakespeare’s London, in Full Fadom Five the past is always present, and the characters always at the mercy of their legacies: those they carry forward, and those they try to leave behind.