- Kelly McDermott-Bay
- 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.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Juliet by Anne Fortier
***Courtesy Random House Publishing Group
When Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety deposit box in Siena, Italy, she is told it will lead her to an old family treasure. Soon she is launched on a precarious journey into the true history of her ancestor Giulietta, whose legendary love for a young man named Romeo turned medieval Siena upside down. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in Shakespeare’s unforgettable blood feud, she begins to realize that the notorious curse -- “A plague on both your houses!” -- is still at work, and that she is the next target. It seems the only one who can save her from her fate is Romeo . . . but where is he?
Full of sleeping potions, secret processions, and the glorious Italian countryside, Juliet is at heart an epic romance that proves that love is strong enough to conquer even death.
Fortier bobs and weaves between Shakespearean tragedy and popular romance for a high-flying debut in which American Julie Jacobs travels to Siena in search of her Italian heritage--and possibly an inheritance--only to discover she is descended from 14th-century Giulietta Tomei, whose love for Romeo defied their feuding families and inspired Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Julie's hunt leads her to the families' descendants, still living in Siena, still feuding, and still struggling under the curse of the friar who wished a plague on both their houses. Julie's unraveling of the past is assisted by a Felliniesque contessa and the contessa's handsome nephew, and complicated by mobsters, police, and a mysterious motorcyclist. To understand what happened centuries ago, in the previous generation, and all around her, Julie relies on relics: a painting, a journal, a dagger, a ring. Readers enjoy the additional benefit of antique texts alternating with contemporary narratives, written in the language of modern romance and enlivened by brisk storytelling. Fortier navigates around false clues and twists, resulting in a dense, heavily plotted love story that reads like a Da Vinci Code for the smart modern woman.
My Review Comments:
I loved this book and it made me sad to see it come to an end. I felt so honored to have received an advance copy of this book to preview. This is a book that I would recommend to anyone that is interesting in the story of, “Romeo and Juliet”. There is so much to discuss about this book, starting with how it was so beautifully written, wonderful character development, and it was filled with layers of twists and turns throughout the book. The story is told in two different timeframes, starting out in the USA in modern times and goes back to ancient Italy. After Julie Jacobs beloved aunt dies, she has a mystery to solve. The mystery includes the characters of Romeo and Juliet in 1340. Julie receives an estate key and a passport with the name Gulietta Tolomei, which is her true name, from her Aunt and she flies to Sienna, where she instantly finds herself in danger. When she gets to Italy she goes to a bank and finds that the key opens a box with a diary that tells the story of Gulietta and Romeo and what happened to them. There are a lot of historical fact findings throughout the book. Also, Julie has a twin sister Janice, whose relationship is strained. But, they do end up coming together and working through their difference to figure out what happened to their Mother. It comes out that they are descendants of the Tolomeis of the 14th century. As they dig deeper they find out that there is a bitter rivalry between the Tolomeis and the Salimbenis much like the one that resembles the famous story between the Capulets and the Montagues. Julie’s has a passionate relationship with Alesandro—Romeo and it is through their relationship that they are able to solve the mystery surrounding their families. This book has it all in my opinion, part mystery, romance, and historical information that all comes together perfectly in the end.