by Anne Fortier
Publisher; HarperCollins/New York/2010
Plot; When Julie Jacobs' aunt dies, she leaves her a key to a safety deposit box in Siena. This key, she is told, will lead to an old family treasure.
This mysterious legacy leads her on a dangerous journey into the lives of her ancestors- and the truth of Giulietta, whose love for a man named Romeo brought medieval Siena to its knees.
"A plague on both your houses" turns out to be so much more than a notorious curse by an old bard.
Can Romeo save Juliet from her fate?
My Thoughts; I read somewhere that this book was Letters to Juliet meets The Da Vinci Code, and I can think of no better way to describe this brilliant read.
I will admit that the plot was a little predictable, but I still enjoyed every moment. Whether I was zooming through the streets of Sienna on a Ducati with the modern day Giulietta or cantering through Sienna, on horseback, with the gallant medieval Romeo, I was in awe of this story of star-crossed love and medieval mystery.
Fortier has constructed a genius blend of romance, history, mystery and action in Juliet, and with it, a beautiful blend of memorable characters.
I have always loved Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and to see the story appropriated into modern times is wonderful, but what I liked most about this book is the historical take on the story. While Shakespeare's tragedy is masterful, I enjoyed the way Fortier took the story, relocated it and added more depth to the families and their deadly history.
Fortier creates a great balance between modern and medieval, good and bad, love and hatred.
I think my favourite character in this story is Julie's sister Janice. While the "Romeo" and "Juliet" characters are at times tragic and at other times warm and delicious, it is the comedic offerings of Janice that really appealed to me. At first you really dislike her, but she turns out to be a fantastic character to have a laugh with, whether she is toying with Julie, or poking fun at dangerous criminals.
I highly recommend this book to anyone with a love for the old Bard's tale because while Fortier introduces new ideas to the classic, she uses the old story as an, almost, code book for her appropriation.
I also recommend this book to people who love a bit of mystery mixed with their romance.