Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Juliet- Anne Fortier

Twenty-five-year-old Julie Jacobs is heartbroken over the death of her beloved Aunt Rose. But the shock goes even deeper when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie’s twin sister. The only thing Julie receives is a key—one carried by her mother on the day she herself died—to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy.
This key sends Julie on a journey that will change her life forever—a journey into the troubled past of her ancestor Giulietta Tolomei. In 1340, still reeling from the slaughter of her parents, Giulietta was smuggled into Siena, where she met a young man named Romeo. Their ill-fated love turned medieval Siena upside-down and went on to inspire generations of poets and artists, the story reaching its pinnacle in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy.
But six centuries have a way of catching up to the present, and Julie gradually begins to discover that here, in this ancient city, the past and present are hard to tell apart. The deeper she delves into the history of Romeo and Giulietta, and the closer she gets to the treasure they allegedly left behind, the greater the danger surrounding her—superstitions, ancient hostilities, and personal vendettas. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in the unforgettable blood feud, she begins to fear that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is destined to be its next target. Only someone like Romeo, it seems, could save her from this dreaded fate, but his story ended long ago. Or did it?

In my opinion, this book is an easy 5/5
I'll be honest- The only reason I read this book was because it was Romeo and Juliet. I'm a sucker for that story. I wasn't expecting much out of it. "Modern day Romeo and Juliets" are usually too similar for my taste. However, this book was different. It focuses mainly on versions of the story that came before Shakespeare's famous play. In this version, Romeo and Juliet aren't whiny little kids that randomly fell in love. There's a story.
Julie and her twin sister Janice are orphaned when they are young and adopted by their great aunt and moved from Sienna, Italy to West Virginia. Their great aunt dies when they are 25 and leaves Janice her entire estate, but only leaves Julie a key to a safe deposit box in Sienna that belonged to her mother. She's told her name is really  Guilietta Tolomei and that whatever is in the deposit box was very important to her mother and could contain a fortune. So, with nothing to lose, she sets off for Italy and meets Eva Maria Salimbeni along the way, who makes such a big deal over her name that she insists on accommodating her in any way she needs, including volunteering her godson, Alessandro Santini, to take care of those needs. Guilietta and Alessandro hate each other from the start.
Alessandro aside, she gets to the safe deposit box and finds it filled with notes and stories and genealogy from a Guilietta Tolomei and Romeo Marescotti from the 13th century- The true story of Romeo and Juliet! Mystery and adventure unfolds as Guilietta digs in to the past and finds some interesting things out about her famous ancestors- Including a curse on her family. Now she must set things right, or at least make sense of it. But she's not the only one interested in her findings. She soon becomes the target of a deadly stalker and those who want to use her.

I would really recommend this book if you like romance, fairy tales, books like The DaVinci Code, or just looking for something good to read. I guarantee you'll love it.

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