Juliet ~ Anne Fortier

Juliet is the debut novel by Anne Fortier and what a grand debut it is. For those of you who are Romeo and Juliet purists, a word of warning; while there are many similarities, there are also just as many differences such as instead of the story being set in Verona it takes place in Sienna. There are also two stories that unfold in alternating chapters. The book starts off with our intrepid heroine Julie Jacobs being given a family mystery to solve which may be connected to the legend of Romeo and Juliet. Soon the chapters start alternating between Julie’s adventures in modern day Sienna and the tragic story of Romeo and Giueletta in 1340. There are many authors who have employed this method of going back in forth in history to varying degrees of success. Fortier uses the method brilliantly and both stories keep the reader completely captivated. There are many surprises which will make readers gasp out loud and it has a very satisfying ending. The character development is extremely strong as well as the plot. As a matter of fact I find it difficult to judge which is stronger. One thing I found that made this book especially stand out was the flow and cadence of it. Fortier just has this beautiful way of writing that captures her characters and scenes and brings them to life in such a way that they stay with you long after you’ve finished the book. I am definitely looking forward to her next venture.

Review by Kimb8

Juliet is one of those books that is making the rounds here at the library. Everyone I’ve talked to has just adored it! Kimb8 has done a lovely review, but a few of us wanted to add our two cents, too. Check back later as more staff and patrons may be adding their thoughts after they finish.

ta: With two families feuding for centuries, trust becomes a major issue in Juliet. Anne Fortier presents so many wonderful characters all with their part to play, but the reader like Julie may have a hard time determining who she can rely on. Many of the characters are keeping secrets or at least holding back information resulting in a plot with several twists and turns and a few sigh-worthy moments. Fortier also does a wonderful job portraying Siena. It too is a character with its palazzos and contrade each with it’s own flag, history and museum. And hey, who doesn’t want to eat lots of gelato and then get lost in Siena’s underground aquaducts?

I won’t recap the basic plot. Kim and Tricia have done a fine job of that here. I just want to say I LOVED this book plain and simple. Juliet is a great read. Breathtaking, heartbreaking and witty, it will sweep you away right from
the start.
Here at the library there have been lots of mini book discussions in passing, around the water cooler or on desk together. What has been interesting is our different viewpoints on some of the more dramatic twists. This had me re-reading chapters either to better understand how things unfolded or just for the ((sigh)) factor. After all the book is very romantic. An interesting mystery to solve, lots of action, good characterization, love and Italy. What more could you ask for? Well maybe one of those chocolate biscottis dipped in red wine while reading Juliet mmmm.

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