It has been years since I studied Romeo and Juliet and learned about the family feud which precipitated this tragic story. When I received a copy of Fortier’s Juliet I was intrigued! Here was a book that brought to life one of the most romantic yet tragic stories ever written.
When Julie Jacobs’ Aunt Rose dies, Julie is shocked to find out that her beloved Aunt had left everything to her irresponsible twin sister Janice. As the twins were growing up Aunt Rose had always been careful to treat the girls equally, so Julie was totally caught off guard. The only thing that Julie received from her Aunt’s estate was a manila envelope containing a letter, a passport and a key. The letter began: My dearest Julie and proceeded to tell her that her real name was Giulietta Tolomei and that the key was to a safe deposit box in Sienna. Julie had always known that she was born in Italy, but knew little about her parents as they had died when she was only 2 years old and she had lived with her Aunt in America ever since. Aunt Rose had always discouraged the girls from visiting Italy until now. The letter also instructed Julie to go to Italy to claim something “very valuable” that her mother had left her, but warned that she had to be careful. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Julie travels to Italy to discover her family’s history, the history of the Tolomei’s, and in doing so she discovers the true story of Romeo Marescotti and Giulietta Tolomei, the two lovers who inspired Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Most importantly, she discovers that she is a descendant of Shakespeare’s Juliet .
Juliet is a fascinating read which weaves back and forth between the present and the past. It is beautifully written and is a wonderful blend of romance, adventure, history and mystery! I loved reading about Romeo and Juliet as well as Julie’s adventures in Italy. The many twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat. Once I started reading this book, I did not want to put it down and would love to find someone to discuss it with!