Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Where for art thou Romeo?

by Anne Fortier

Genre; Fiction/Historical/Mystery/Romance
Publisher; HarperCollins/New York/2010
Pages; 496
ISBN; 978-0-7322-8941-6

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.

Happy Reading!


  1. You know what. I think I might just give this one a shot. I've been looking to do something different. Maybe a saunter down historical fiction lane will be good. A great change from the brutal aliens I've been writing about.

  2. And just for the record, sometimes I have trouble posting here. It always works but I have to work a little. anyways, keep up the good work and the good fight!

  3. Thanks UL!
    Hassles? With posting?
    Anyone else have this issue, let me know! nicoletrist@hotmail.com

    Yes, this is a good book to have a go at.. a bit of romance, a bit of action, a bit of murder, a bit of history, a bit of the modern day, a bit of comedy.. a good balance which makes for a perfect weekend read! Enjoy!

  4. This sounds like a good read - thanks for the review.