Author: Anne Fortier
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Twenty-five-year-old Julie Jacobs is heartbroken over the death of her beloved Aunt Rose. But the shock goes even deeper when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie’s twin sister. The only thing Julie receives is a key—one carried by her mother on the day she herself died—to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy.
This key sends Julie on a journey that will change her life forever—a journey into the troubled past of her ancestor Giulietta Tolomei. In 1340, still reeling from the slaughter of her parents, Giulietta was smuggled into Siena, where she met a young man named Romeo. Their ill-fated love turned medieval Siena upside-down and went on to inspire generations of poets and artists, the story reaching its pinnacle in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy.
But six centuries have a way of catching up to the present, and Julie gradually begins to discover that here, in this ancient city, the past and present are hard to tell apart. The deeper she delves into the history of Romeo and Giulietta, and the closer she gets to the treasure they allegedly left behind, the greater the danger surrounding her—superstitions, ancient hostilities, and personal vendettas. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in the unforgettable blood feud, she begins to fear that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is destined to be its next target. Only someone like Romeo, it seems, could save her from this dreaded fate, but his story ended long ago. Or did it?"
My Two Cents:
Guys, this book! Oh this book! You need to read it! Take a little bit of family drama, a centuries old mystery, a classic tale of love and Italy (oh yes, Italy) and you have a great read!!! Now I have to admit that I'm partial to books set in Italy (I went there for my honeymoon last September and before that, I dreamed and dreamed of going). I found myself wishing that I were reading this book in a sunny piazza while sipping on an espresso laced drink while munching on Crostini. Alas, I was still here in the States but this book at least made me feel as if I could at least pretend I was in Italy.
This book has it all. Usually I don't care for mysteries because I can usually figure out what's going on long before the end of the book and then I just get bored with the book. If I do happen to pick up a mystery book, I usually will not read it again once I've read it for the first time as the surprises in the book have already been spoiled. However, Juliet I would read again and again. In fact, I think I might need to buy a copy of the book for my own collection.
Julie is a cool character. She's kind of floating through life and doesn't really know where she wants to go or what she wants to do with her life. The key she is given after her aunt's death changes all of that. It was definitely cool to see her grow as a character throughout the book.
The only reason that I'm not giving the book all five stars (I give it 4.5) is that I felt like there were a few plot holes here and there that I really would have liked answered but I really don't think that the holes take away too much from the overall story.
" 'But he is an Italian,' was Umberto's sensible reply. 'He doesn't care if you break some law a little bit, as long as you wear beautiful shoes. Are you wearing beautiful shoes? Are you wearing the shoes I gave you?... Principessa?
I looked down at my flip-flops. 'I guess I'm toast.' "
4.5 out of 5 stars