by Anne Fortier
This was a recent pick for my local library’s book club. It tells the story of Julie, a modern-day descendant of one Giulietta Tolomei, the historical reality (as the book posits) behind Shakespeare’s fictional Juliet. It switches between Julie’s adventures in the present as she discovers this genealogical connection and comes to believe there may actually be a curse on two Italian families (‘a plague on both your houses’), and glimpses into the past that reveal the real story behind Romeo & Juliet. Overall, it was quite interesting. One part history, one part mysticism, one part treasure hunt, and (of course) one part love story. Some of the history bits can be a bit dry, but nothing too extended and they’re interspersed with spicy bits of danger. The love story was inevitable, but throws in some nice surprises along the way. The character of Julie is not fully formed (because she’s still discovering who she is), but still relatable enough to pull you in. The writing is decent. Overall it was an enjoyable read and an interesting take on the classic Romeo & Juliet. And now I really want to visit Siena, Italy. 🙂
I give it 3.5/5 stars.