"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. " -Helen Keller

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Escape with Giulietta

Imagine a world in which Romeo and Juliet weren't just characters from literature. Imagine they were real people who live in 14th century Siena and their story was filled with twists and turns and pathos and backstabbing than even Shakespeare could conceive of. Now, imagine that the descendants of their famous familes are still being affected by the infamous curse of "A plague on both your houses." Throw in some mystery, a lost treasure, and a storybook romance and you have the basis for Anne Fortier's debut novel, Juliet.

While many people refer to Ms. Fortier's debut novel as a romance, I think it's primary strength lies in the fresh twist added to a 6 century old tale. Even if you've never read it, almost everybody out there has at least heard the basics of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Fortier takes the tale of Romeo and Juliet back to it's origins in Siena and balances that ancient tale with the story of the modern day Tolomei, Marescotti, and Salimbeni families (the families in the first writing of Romeo and Juliet). Ms. Fortier presents her tightly woven tale by alternating between the ancient tale and the story of the modern day.  Despite bouncing back and forth in time, the story never veers off course and never fails to explore and of the twists and turns toe story takes.

Most reviews of this novel are glowing but I have seen a few people complain that, while the first half of the novel gripped them tightly, the second half disappointed and left them a bit cold.  Honestly, I found it a bit of the reverse.  I thought Juliet got stronger as the story grew and developed and by halfway through I could NOT put it down.  In fact, I loved it so much that I was up until 2:30 last night finishing it. Juliet holds something for just about every reader...family drama, intrigue, mystery, a teensy bit of the super natural, and, yes, romance.  For all of us who are incurable romantics, there is a modern day Romeo to go along with the main character of Julie Jacobs aka Giulietta Tolomei

If you love reading as much as I do, take a chance and pick up Anne Fortier's debut novel.  When you reach the end, I guarantee you'll come away wanting to read more by this talented author..


JamericanSpice said...

One more to put on my library list. I'm now reading Eat Pray love.

Mrs. Gamgee said...

:) Pretty good, huh?

Barb said...

Interesting! Thanks Kristin!

Alex said...

Thanks for the recommendation - I was looking for a new book to read!

Anonymous said...

Hey I read this and enjoyed it. In fact, I reviewed it for the local paper where I live. How are you doing with your book challenge? I'm currently in the middle of #50!