Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Book Review - Juliet by Anne Fortier


Anne Fortier

Ballantine Books



464 pages

ISBN: 0345516109


I have a passing fascination with William Shakespeare. That is to say I am not a fanatic, nor can I recite long passages from his works. I am not familiar with his cadence or style, know little of his historical references, and am often confused by his phrasing. But I do know what I like and I loved this story. I’m pretty sure the Bard would have approved as well.

The story moves between two points in history in a series of flashbacks prompted by letters, journals, and face-to-face conversations. First to the present day where our modern Juliet learns that a great treasure awaits her in Italy. After the death of her Aunt she is given a letter left by her mother that will make her rich. Her twin sister, it seems, inherited everything but the clue hidden in letter; the name Giulietta Tolomei. Then the author propels us backwards in time to the “real” story of Romeo and Juliet where we learn that the two star-crossed lovers truly did exist and that their love did indeed come to a tragic end. Not quite like Shakespeare wrote it but close enough to make this story worthwhile.

Fortier’s strong suit, in my estimation, is the fleshing out of the historical scenes and the story of the two lovers, the monk who brought them together, and the evil man that came between them and then separated them unto death. The 14th Century characters, sequences, and tragedies are highly believable and were, without a doubt, heavily researched. This was a fun, quick, and entertaining read and while this type of story is generally outside my favorite genre I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m glad I took the time and you will to. Recommended read!

4 out of 5 stars

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Southeast Wisconsin

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