Publisher: by Ballantine Books
Released: August 24th 2010
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.My Rating: 4 /5
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?
From Anne Fortier comes a sweeping, beautifully written novel of intrigue and identity, of love and legacy, as a young woman discovers that her own fate is irrevocably tied—for better or worse—to literature’s greatest star-crossed lovers.
Julie Jacob's is a twin, who lives a nice life in America with her rich Aunt Rose, her parents having died in a car crash when she was little - or so she was told. Her true past begins to take shape when she travels to her hometown of Siena, armed only with a key to a safety deposit box. With clues left in the box & the help of some locals and distant relatives, Julie discovers a curse may be haunting her..and she may be able to put a stop to it.
In Juliet, we are introduced to the story of Giulietta Tolomei, a long standing family feud between the Tolomeis and Salimbenis and what is perhaps the basis for Shakespeare's famous Romeo and Juliet! Told in alternating chapters, Guilietta in 1340 and Julie in present day, the reader journeys with Julie as she unravels the lore, which according to her parents life work, traces her lineage back to Giulietta Tolomei and the family curse.
Plot twists, a treasure hunt and Shakespeare references makes for an intriguing mystery. The magic to me though lies in the setting, being brought back in time to 1340 Siena, when life was quite different and family honor meant everything! Anne brought Siena alive and I was so immersed in the story that I didn't want it to end.