Book Review - Juliet by Anne Fortier

I was lucky enough to be chosen by Pump Up Your Book promotions to receive a copy fo Anne Fortier's new novel Juliet that hit bookstores August 24th...  This book combines history, literature, suspense and a treasure hunt across Italy and time.  It's a gripping novel that pairs Juliet Jacobs, a nondescript drama teacher from the U.S. with a family legacy that stretches back to Guilietta, the ancestor who inspired the famed tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.

From the Publisher:

Juliet, an ambitious, utterly engaging historical novel on the scale of The Thirteenth Tale and The Birth of Venus, follows a young woman who discovers that her family’s origins reach all the way back to literature’s greatest star-crossed lovers.
When Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy, she is told it will lead her to an old family treasure. Soon she is launched on a winding and perilous journey into the history of her ancestor Giulietta, whose legendary love for a young man named Romeo rocked the foundations of medieval Siena. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in Shakespeare’s unforgettable blood feud, she begins to realize that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is the next target. It seems that the only one who can save Julie from her fate is Romeo—but where is he?

My review:

I love that this book is a work of historical fiction that is well researched and uses documented historical facts to bring the story to life... The intertwining of the stories of the Medieval Giulietta and modern Juliet show us how history can be repeated, but also altered by space, time and modernization.   

I love how references to various versions of the Romeo and Juliet story are used to give clues and lead the reader down the path of both enlightenment and entanglement.  I also love how the passage of time has both altered and obscured some of the realities we see emerging.

Fortier's characterizations and settings are brought to life with careful wording and beautiful prose.  As a debut novel, one often expects that words might not flow off the page as richly as practiced authors, but if someone hadn't told me this was a first novel, I would never have known.

I recommend this book for anyone who loves history, Romeo & Juliet, intrigue and Italy!  It is currently on sale at for $16.50 ($8.50 off the cover price) and in a Kindle Version for $9.99.

About the Author:

Anne Fortier grew up in Denmark and emigrated to the United States in 2002 to work in film. She co-produced the Emmy-winning documentary Fire and Ice: The Winter War of Finland and Russia and holds a Ph.D. in the History of Ideas from Aarhus University in Denmark. The story of Juliet was inspired by Anne Fortier’s mother, who always considered Verona her true home … until she discovered Siena.You can visit Anne Fortier’s website at

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book for the purposes of writing this review.  All opinions are 100% my own.