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Hello, my name is Kelly and I welcome you to the Bookend Diaries book blog. I created this blog to share my own reviews of existing and new books, to discuss with other readers what we’re currently reading, update you on my book club picks, and of course, to ultimately support the work of the authors we all enjoy. I am addicted to reading and I thought this would be a great way to reach out to other readers who are as obsessed with books as I am.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

O'Juliet by Robin Maxwell



***Purchased through Barnes and Noble

Synopsis

Maxwell delivers a mesmerizing retelling of the famous star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, in her latest novel, set in Italy at the beginning of the Renaissance. Juliet Capelletti is a headstrong, intelligent young lady who is facing an arranged marriage to Jacopo Strozzi, her father's new business partner. She does not look forward to her match but knows that it will make her parents happy. Juliet's entire future is forever changed one night at the engagement party of her best friend, Lucrezia, when she meets the handsome Romeo Monticecco. Romeo is at the party to seek reconciliation between his family and the Capelettis, who have been feuding and retaliating against each other for years.
Juliet and Romeo find a chance to talk together alone under the stars, and their destiny unfolds. Both are surprised by the other's passion for poetry and shared interest in Dante Alighieri's Vita Nuova. After their first meeting, Juliet is determined to find a way out of her upcoming marriage to Jacopo, even though this means defying her family's wishes for her and possibly destroying the business between her father and her betrothed.
What unfolds is a beautiful love story between the soul mates Romeo and Juliet. Maxwell realistically portrays the torment with which Juliet is faced as she wonders what her future holds. The things I enjoyed the most about the novel were how Maxwell drew parallels between Dante and his love, Beatrice, and Romeo and Juliet, and her use of poetry and quotes from Dante throughout the novel. Readers will savor this exquisite and magical love story."

My Review Comments:

I have to say that I loved this book, I couldn’t put it down because it was so beautifully written. It was wonderful to see Romeo and Juliet placed in a novel format. Romeo and Juliet weren’t just in lust for each other like most other books portray them, they were truly in love with each other. Both poets themselves, Romeo and Juliet were first drawn together by the works of Dante, a famous deceased poet. They met at Juliet’s best friend’s celebration. During this short meeting love ensued, but it was more than love at first sight. There was a solid foundation for their attraction, a mutual connection that made their story unfold truly beautifully. Juliet was vivacious and stubbornly strong-willed for a young woman of that era, while Romeo came across as a peacemaker of sorts, cheerful-natured, sweet and unruffled - at least until it came to defending and fiercely loving his fair Juliet. Both, of course, were dreamers of the best sorts. I loved the depth that it went into about the Capeletti's family silk merchant business and Monticecco’s family business of being farmers. The characters were very well developed and the storyline was different than the Romeo and Juliet we are all used to without straying too far from the fundamental nature of Shakespeare's beloved play. The differences between the Shakespeare version and this one were their ages, locations, and some of the other characters, but it still held true to the basic premise of two young lovers who married secretly, between two battling families and they ultimately have a tragic ending through death tying to achieve eternal love.

"Their love was the stuff of legend. But the legend is only half the story." – quote from the cover

25 comments:

  1. A wonderful review for what seems to be a wonderful novel! This is actually the first time I heard about this novel, but now it's bound to be included on my wishlist. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. This was a great review. Sometimes retellings work, like this one, but so often they are not very good.
    I wish the ending were different. Oh la.

    Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust
    steph@fangswandsandfairydust.com

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  3. I've heard a lot about this book but haven't checked it out yet. This definitely sounds like my kind of book, I will have to see if my library has it :) Great review.

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  4. Sounds great! I have actually never read Romeo and Juliet. This sounds almost more fun than the real thing :-)

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  5. Romeo and Juliet can never get old! Greatest love story told...:) Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

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  6. Thanks for stopping by our blog again. I have seen some of your latest reads in the bookstore lately. It is good to hear your perspective.

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  7. Hey I saw you around at all the blogs I was hopping by and thought I'd say hi. have a great weekend!

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  8. Hey! Stopping by to wish you a great Friday :) I'm a new follower!

    Happy Reading!

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  9. This is a great review! It sounds like a beautiful book, and the cover is completely drawing me in!

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  10. Great review - I have seen this book before but it never made it onto my wishlist. It will be going on there now.

    Thanks for stopping by on the hop!

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  11. Stopping by from the hop, and stumbled into this review. Sounds like a really interesting read! I may have to check it out!

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  12. Stopping by from the hop. Have a great weekend!
    talesandtreats.blogspot.com

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  13. Great review, sounds like an interesting book. I've always loved the tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet.

    Xoxo

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  14. Thanks for the follow! Have a great weekend!

    Greenabsinthia
    www.greenabsinthiabookblog.com

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  15. I'll have to dig this out of my TBR pile - it sounds wonderful!

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  16. Sounds like an interesting book --- I hadn't read much about this one, but now, I'm thinking I'll seek it out! :)

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  17. Thanks for stopping by my blog!!! Just returning the favor!!! Hope you are having a good weekend!!!

    Happy Reading!

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  18. Hi!!!!! I'm a new follower--Just found you through the blogger hop!!! Looks like a fun blog :) --I LOVE all the Audrey Hepburn!!!--My favorite Audrey movies are Love in the Afternoon, Charade, and Sabrina...sorry, have to make myself stop ;) Happy Friday!!!!

    nymfaux
    http://nymfaux.blogspot.com/

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  19. Wow, looks like you've got a lot of "Juliet" reading going on over here! :) Thanks for hopping by my blog earlier! I hadn't added this particular Juliet book to my list, but think I will now! :) Thanks for the review!

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  20. I have picked you for the versatile blogger award...http://kelseyopsahl.blogspot.com/2010/07/my-first-blogger-award.html

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  21. Nice review. Shakespeare has always intimated me, maybe it's the prose. Thanks for hopping by my blog, have a great weekend!

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  22. Here from the Hop. Thanks for the great review!

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