What if the story of the ill fated lovers Romeo and Juliet was based on a doomed romance involving powerful families in Siena instead of Verona? This is the very premise of Juliet, a novel by Anne Fortier which shows the evolution of the story and how it is affected the families for hundreds of years.
Twins Julie and Janice Jacobs return home upon the death of the great aunt who raised them only for Julie to discover her true name is Giulietta Tolomei and that her deceased mother believed a treasure is waiting for her to find in Siena. So she travels across the world only to discover that her love of the play Romeo and Juliet stems not only from a literary enchantment with the story but from the fact that Shakespeare took the idea from a true romance and conflict between the Tolomei, Salembeni, and Marescotti families back in the 1300’s.
As Julie/Giulietta gets closer and closer to the secret treasure her mother wanted her to find she discovers that members of the other families are hot on the trail as well. They follow her at every step but she wants greatly to end the curse that has become, as Shakespeare put it, “a plague on both our families”. Through examinations of past family interactions and the romance that spurned the story the characters discover not only the treasure but family connections and romances galore.
Juliet is not only a great love story but a suspenseful look on what it takes to save a family from a possible curse. It examines secrets and the importance of love, family, and history. Anyone who has enjoyed any aspect of Romeo and Juliet will appreciate the novel as well as anyone who enjoys love stories or mysteries.