Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Juliet - A Review

Published - August 2010, Ballantine Books
Author - Anne Fortier
Title - Juliet
Format - ebook, paper, hardcover, audio
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When Julie Jacobs' Aunt Rose passes away, Julie is shocked to discover that she has been written out of the will. Everything has been left to Julie's selfish twin sister, Janice. All that Julie receives is a letter telling her to go to Siena Italy and a key to a safety deposit box. When she arrives in Italy, she is shocked to discover that the contents of the box are her mother's research into the story of Romeo and Juliet. And Shakespeare's story isn't the earliest version of the romance. All of a sudden, Julie finds herself in the middle of a centuries old feud, discovering she (and her sister) has a different name, and that the handsome, if arrogant, man she keeps crossing paths with may be an important player in the drama. As she delves into the origins of the famous love story, Julie comes to realize that unless something changes, she may be fated to play the role of Juliet. But who is Juliet without her Romeo? And if Julie is the modern version of the medieval Giulietta, then there has to be a Romeo as well. Will Juliet know her Romeo when she meets him?

I discovered this book one day at Barnes & Noble. I was fascinated with the hardback's cover and decided to check to see if my library had the book. To my delight they did. I rented it, read it, and promptly fell in love with it. It's beautifully written.

There are two story lines in this book - the modern one following Julie and the medieval love story of Giulietta and her Romeo. I'm not sure which I enjoyed better. Both story lines fascinated me. Especially as current events began to mirror the ones of the past.

Like the majority of the world, I'm familiar with Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. So discovering that he based his story on events set centuries before he wrote his play intrigued me. I think I remember my 9th grade English teacher mentioning something about that, but I truly don't remember.

I'll admit that the book is a bit slow to get into, but I found it so worth it. I loved the history. And as I kept turning pages, I'd already figured out that Julie was the modern Juliet/Giulietta but who was her Romeo? I had my suspicions about who he turned out to be. But there were plot twists that made me wonder if maybe I was wrong.

Without giving away spoilers, I have to say that the man that Julie finds both handsome and arrogant to be a pretty intriguing character. I thought that there was more to him than what appeared. And I was right. He's a strong character, but also meets the classical brooding hero. Can a book have more than one hero? Yes! Especially when there are two story lines and they entwine as the book progresses.

The whole Julie/Giulietta story lines were fascinating. Julie came to realize that Shakespeare's curse was still alive and well. I loved how Julie was determined not the end up like Shakespeare's Juliet. And I loved how she changed in the course of the book. She starts off somewhat timid, but by the end she is a strong and has come into her own.

I really loved this book. It makes me want to revisit Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. Around the time that this book came out, I'd recently discovered the movie Letters to Juliet, already loved the movie Shakespeare in Love, and became a fan of Taylor Swift's song Love Story. So this book fit right in with what I'd been enjoying. It isn't often that I will find a novel that is beautiful in story and in every aspect of it. Especially if it's one that I'd never heard of before. Yet this was one such novel. No one recommended it to me. It was one of those hidden treasures I'd stumbled upon and delighted in once discovered.

I highly recommend this to fans of Romeo & Juliet.

Rating - 5 stars

A special treat for you - I found the video of Taylor Swift's song Love Story. Enjoy.

6 comments:

  1. I'm intrigued! Sounds like a beautiful love story. And what a gorgeous cover!

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    1. And the paperback's cover is just as pretty!

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  2. Oh my gosh! I own this book! But I haven't read it yet.
    I am so glad to hear that you loved it!

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  3. Sounds like a really sweet, lesser-known novel. Thanks for the review, Dawn. Since I adore that music video and song, I should look into reading this! :)

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    1. Rissi, I think that you would really enjoy it. It was such a surprise to me.

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