Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Juliet by Anne Fortier

I was very gloomy after finishing Juliet. Not because of the ending, but because the story was over. It was one of those books where I wanted to find out what happened, but at the same time, I didn't want to finish. Alas, all books must end.

With chapters jutting back and forth between the 14th century and present day Siena, Italy, Juliet is part mystery, part romance, and part history.

The story starts in the present day, when Julie Jacobs find out her beloved Aunt Rose has passed away. Julie and her twin sister were taken in when they were three after the death of their mother. Julie then acquires a letter from her aunt, informing Julie that her real name is Giulietta Tolemei and with the letter is a key to a safety deposit box located in Siena. With her Aunt's estate unexpectedly left to Julie's twin sister Janice, she figures that at the end of this wild goose chase is something worth it. Arriving in Siena, Julie is thrown into a six hundred year old mystery surround her ancestor, another Giuelietta Tolomei and her romance with Romeo. That's right, Romeo & Juliet.

Using the objects in the safety deposit box, left behind by her mother, Julie finds out about the real Romeo and Juliet, who ended up being the inspiration for Shakespeare's infamous play. However, Julie is soon over her head. There's a man following her, along with another psycho on a motorcycle who just sits in the middle of the street watching her. Then, Julie finds her hotel room has been broken into. What mystery is Julie getting close to finding out and who wants to get to it before her?

As much of a history buff that I am, I found myself more enthralled with the present day story. I thought about why that was, and came to the conclusion that the present day story was steeped in history. Everything that happened was connected to the past. It was exciting when Julie came across something new, when she found another old object that helped her get closer to the mystery surrounding her ancestor.

I also loved that the story was set in Italy. I have several connections to Italy, albeit not to Siena. Walking with Julie threw the streets was captivating and made me even more eager to get myself over there.

Juliet was an extraordinary novel. So much research obviously went into this. The writing was gripping and flowed seamlessly. The action was written so realistically, I found myself holding my breath several times. This is only the first novel written by Anne Fortier and I can't wait to read her future work.


Joanne said...

This book sounds great - I love a story that combines the past and the present with history, romance, and mystery. Juliet sounds like the perfect combination.

Audra said...

Great review -- I'm adding this to my TBR. I wonder if the movie Letters to Juliet was based on this?

Christy B said...

Audra, from what I've seen of that movie, I doubt it. Completely different stories.

Svea Love said...

Your review has definitely made me decide to put this on my TBR list. Glad you enjoyed it so much!