Author: Anne Fortier
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Date Published: August 24th 2010
Twenty-five-year-old Julie Jacobs is heartbroken over the death of her beloved aunt Rose. But the shock goes even deeper when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie’s twin sister. The only thing Julie receives is a key—one carried by her mother on the day she herself died—to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy.
This key sends Julie on a journey that will change her life forever—a journey into the troubled past of her ancestor Giulietta Tolomei. In 1340, still reeling from the slaughter of her parents, Giulietta was smuggled into Siena, where she met a young man named Romeo. Their ill-fated love turned medieval Siena upside-down and went on to inspire generations of poets and artists, the story reaching its pinnacle in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy.
But six centuries have a way of catching up to the present, and Julie gradually begins to discover that here, in this ancient city, the past and present are hard to tell apart. The deeper she delves into the history of Romeo and Giulietta, and the closer she gets to the treasure they allegedly left behind, the greater the danger surrounding her—superstitions, ancient hostilities, and personal vendettas. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in the unforgettable blood feud, she begins to fear that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is destined to be its next target. Only someone like Romeo, it seems, could save her from this dreaded fate, but his story ended long ago. Or did it?
From Anne Fortier comes a sweeping, beautifully written novel of intrigue and identity, of love and legacy, as a young woman discovers that her own fate is irrevocably tied—for better or worse—to literature’s greatest star-crossed lovers.
What a captivating wild ride! I absolutely adored Juliet. The mystery, the romance, and the gorgeous Siena backdrop all meshed together made for a grand story. I’ve been pining for this book as soon as I heard about it, as I am a sucker for anything Romeo and Juliet related.
Anne Fortier hit it out of the ball park with her debut novel, Juliet. I’m impressed with the flow of the story, and the research that must have went into this amazing book. Everything just came together beautifully. Ms. Fortier takes you for a ride into past Siena, circa 1300’s to present Siena. Chapters flip back and forth between the current Guiletta, and the Guiletta of Romeo and Juliet. I also learned a great deal about Italian especially Siena, their customs, and the importance of what your last name is.
There were some minor flaws, for instance some of the dialogue was unrealistic. It at times stalled the pace, but it was very minor, in my opinion. Present Guiletta was overly gullible, and a time or two I got frustrated. None of these things took away from this great story, though.
Juliet will definitely pluck you out of your life and take you for a soap opera ride into the story of Romeo and Juliet.