Lady Macbeth: On the Couch

A pseudo-psychological analysis of the infamous Lady Macbeth shown through her early experiences as well as the main plot features of the Shakespearean tragedy we all know and love (or at least had to study at some point!).

I requested this from NetGalley a while ago as it ticked a lot of my boxes… it’s historical, it’s inspired by Shakespeare and it has a heavy psychological influence, so a big thank you to Bancroft Press for providing me with an Advance Reading Copy! I originally thought it was going to be a work of non-fiction, but as it turns out it’s a novel.


  • It was set in 12th century Scotland, a historical period I know next to nothing about.
  • The cover is a nice green colour… I also really like the font ‘Lady Macbeth’ is written in.
  • It offered insight into one of my favourite femme fatales of all time.


  • Lady Macbeth’s psychological portrait was weak. The attempted self-analysis seemed as though it was written by someone who just watches too much Jeremy Kyle.
  • The writing was pretty repetitious, there were quite a few phrases that kept being used over and over (one of my pet hates!)
  • She tried to make Lady Macbeth into a poor, misunderstood waif. Disappointing. The charms of Lady Macbeth is that she is totally diabolical and almost wholly responsible for her husband’s downfall. I didn’t want to keep hearing the she ‘hadn’t been a bad person’.
  • The narrative voice was really unconvincing. The novel was written in first person, narrated by Lady Macbeth herself, and yet used phrases such as ‘as was the custom in Ancient Scotland’ – if I was telling the story of my life I wouldn’t talk about things back in the 21st century…


You’re not a book snob, or if you like the stories of Shakespeare but not the way he writes.

I was really quite disappointed with this book… I’m not sure if it’s because I was expecting something epic, or if it was really as bad as I’m making it sound. Maybe you should read it and let me know?

D x

P.S. I’m playing around with a new format for my reviews, thoughts?


2 thoughts on “Lady Macbeth: On the Couch

  1. I have to say, the premise of the book would make me instantly run out and read it! That being said, however, I just read a historical non-fiction novel that turned into pretty much everything you disliked about the Macbeth book. Good idea in theory, but poorly executed. A shame!

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