Anna Maria Locke

book review: Juliet


I just finished reading Juliet by Anne Fortier. It took me about a third of the way through to actually get into the book, but ended up being pretty exciting and entertaining in a Dan Brown-meets-Shakespeare in Love kind of way. 

The story goes back and forth between the present day and 1340 Italy, and traces the story of the "original" Romeo and Juliet.  Julie Jacobs aka Giulietta Tolomei is a modern 25 year old who follows her past to Siena, Italy to finish her late mother's quest of finding out her true ancestry. It turns out she is indeed descended from the original Giulietta Tolomei who inspired Shakespeare's story, and frequent flashbacks to the past reveal the original tale of the star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet.

The plots in both time periods involve feuding families, murder, love, legendary treasure, and lots of shocking twists and turns. Honestly, the modern story was pretty cheesy and hard to buy, but the historical bits were very colorful and entertaining. As we all know, the story of the original Juliet ends in tragedy, but Julie Jacobs' story ends with an Indiana Jones-style trek  through the bowels of Middle Age cathedrals and catecombs in search of Romeo and Juliet's hidden grave. 

Worth a read, mainly for the entertaining historical fiction.