Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Juliet by Anne Fortier: A Top Favorite Read of the Year

A Must Read--You'll Love It!

If you haven't heard of Juliet by Anne Fortier, listen up!  This is one of my favorite reads of the year.  Are you looking for adventure, romance, history, and just a great read?  Well, here it is.  Julie Jacobs has always loved the play Romeo and Juliet by Will Shakespeare.  She's got it memorized.  Her twin sister, Janice, has been a pain in her behind most of her life--always the doer, always making trouble for Julie.  Their Aunt Rose dies, leaving Janice all her money and home, and a letter to Julie, with a passport that has her real name:  Giulietta Tolomei.  

Julie finds herself on the way to Siena, Italy, to discover the secrets behind her mother's obsession with the Tolomei-Salembini curse, which has it's origins in the original story of Romeo and Giulietta, who is Julie's ancestress.  The story takes place in 1340 Siena, and in present Siena, where Julie is in a race against unknown enemies to unravel her family history and uncover the secrets that her mother died trying to solve.  Can she finally remove the family curse that has ruled both families for centuries?  Is there really a curse, or is it just a way to explain unhappy endings?

I loved this book!  It is very well written; Julie/Giulietta is a great character.  She's been afraid to live her whole life, and is forced to jump into the unknown to find out who she really is.  Alessandro is the handsome man who clashes with her immediately, yet he's part of the puzzle. Who are her enemies, and who is there to help her?  Who keeps following her, and who breaks into her hotel room?  Can she piece together the puzzle and solve the mystery?

The story of Romeo and Giulietta is fascinating, and heartbreaking at the same time.  Medieval Italy was a cruel place, where women were pawns for power and had little choice in marriage.  The town of Siena is another character in the story; it sounds like a beautiful place--a mixture of medieval buildings and modern conveniences.  I had a hard time putting this book down, and raced to the end--it's exciting right up until the last few pages.  You'll be happy with the ending!

If you are a fan of Dan Brown, or Kate Mosse's Labyrinth, or any books that have historical mysteries and stories retold from the familiar, try this one.  Really, a great read, and oh so romantic, but not cheesy at all.

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