Juliet by Anne Fortier
Full disclaimer: I had to use my speed reading skills just to survive reading this book. I did not miss much by skipping over parts. That should give you an indication of how much I like the book. Oy.
I was having a stressful day and came across discount books, sorting through books, reading the back cover, sending my imagination into another place and time is something I love to do.
I found a couple of books, one called Juliet. Hmm I like the very famous Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet and this seemed to be a mash up of a modern day Romeo and Juliet story mixed with the ‘true’ story set in the 1300s. Sounded like an interesting concept for a novel and I was intrigued to read it.
The first couple of chapters were interesting, about Julie and her family, an aunt who left her a cryptic letter after she died about a treasure hidden in Italy. Julie and her sister had lost both of their parents and dear Aunt Rose who raised them would never reveal what had happened or let them travel back to Italy.
Mystery, a treasure, family secrets mixed with a historical remake of Romeo and Juliet, I’m in.
Unfortunately, the novel began to fall apart. About 50 pages in I was ready to give in. The characters were flat, you didn’t really feel one way or another about them. Well, Julie was a bit annoying as she played the helpless traveller in Italy. Half way in, she was still looking for the treasure, talking about it and pretty much not really doing anything productive.
The historical aspect of the novel was the most interesting. Duelling houses, marrying the girls off for alliances and power. It was interesting to a point, however not much happened to hold my interest.
The book could have been half of the length and maybe I would have liked it better. Maybe.
The author clearly did a lot of historical research into the 1300s and the Shakespeare play, which is used a lot throughout the novel. But her characters lack depth, there were snatches of interesting parts and than long periods of the characters discussing the centuries long feud with families with the modern day Julie just running around in circles.
Unfortunately, this book, even though it was a best seller, fell flat for me. Not enough to hold my interest, boring characters and plot line.
Defiantly in the donate pile.
Have you read it? What do you think?