January 25th, 2011
Julie, an American, must go to Italy to retrieve the contents of a safe deposit box left to her by her mother. What she finds is not the treasure she was told to expect, but rather fragments of old documents, a notebook, a crucifix, and a paperback copy of Romeo and Juliet. Julie doesn’t have much to fall back on, so more out of need of a fortune rather than sheer curiosity, she embarks on a quest to discover just what the contents of the box mean.
The critics called this “a women’s Da Vinci Code“. I can understand why they say that, but I think it does an injustice to this novel. While both novels involve historical intrique and puzzles to be solved, Dan Brown’s book was very much a race against the clock with little in the way of character development or relationship building among the characters. It’s a historical thriller. In Juliet, Fortier gives us an unusual twist on a Shakespearean story and while there are some questions to be answered and things that must happen in order to erase an ancient curse, we don’t get the feeling that we are on the clock and along the way there are characters that come to life, relationships that develop and a romance between a contemporary Juliet and Romeo. Fortier’s novel does not have the pace of a thriller, and takes its time revealing its secrets. Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction, romance, and intrigue.
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