Read this book recently, it was a recommended to me by a librarian and it was GREAT! I cannot put into words how good it was - it was up there among the best that I've read lately.
Rather than blunder over my own words trying to describe this book, I'll paste an "official" review below. Seriously, get your hands on this one - you won't be disappointed. I would call it Da Vinci Code meets Shakespeare.
Amazon official review:
Okay, you’re here, on Amazon and by some clever and fortunate happenstance you’ve clicked over to Anne Fortier’s Juliet. First let me say, bravo.
Not only are you intrepid enough to find this gem of a debut novel, but
you are about to embark on a journey to Sienna (not Verona, for you Romeo and Juliet purists out there--don’t feel bad, I was one of them too) with our heroine, Julie Jacobs.
my advice--aside from urging you to buy this book before someone else
in your book club beats you to it--is to buckle up and hold on with both
hands. You’re in for a wild ride--a lush, romantic voyage that will
stimulate all of your literary senses.
Our story begins when
Julie’s beloved Aunt Rose dies, leaving Julie and her twisted sister,
Janice orphaned. (Their parents died years earlier in Tuscany). But
while Aunt Rose leaves the family estate to Janice, Julie is bequeathed
next to nothing, just a passport, a key, and a secret--that her real
name is Giulietta Tolomei, a descendant of the Tolomeis and the
Salembenis, the real families that inspired Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet—and that the "Curse upon both your houses," is alive and well, 600 years later.
With exquisite detail and flawless pacing, Juliet
is a multi-layered tapestry of Julie’s present and Giulietta’s
14th-century past, where families, generations apart, are still at each
other’s throats. Betwixt tragedy and epic romance, Juliet will stir your heart and quicken your pulse. After all, if Julie is Giulietta, then where art thou, Romeo?
lest I forget, and in the interest of full disclosure, I must confess
that I’m not your typical admirer of Shakespeare. Sure, one of my
earliest childhood memories is of wandering around the prop room of
Oregon’s famed Shakespeare Festival with MacBeth’s bloody head on a
pike, and yes, instead of a traditional wedding reception, my wife and I
opted to take everyone to a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (the wedding party still in full regalia), but please don’t hold that against me.
You will fall in love with Juliet, as I did, as she reinvents your perceptions of a Shakespearean classic.