Hardcover, 447 pages
Published August 24th 2010 by Ballantine BooksISBN13: 9780345516107
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.
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.
“Everything we say is a story. But nothing we say is just a story.”
Who doesn't know the story of Romeo & Juliet?? Once you read this book and learn of the twists, turns, secrets and truths... it will make you wonder if you ever really knew the story at all.
This book is a modern take on Romeo & Juliet. Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety deposit box in Italy after her aunt passes away suddenly. She travels to Italy hoping and expecting to find riches and money. Instead she finds that she has inherited a mystery and must complete her parents work to stop a curse on her family. She also learns that she is a direct descendant of "the" Juliet.
The story moves back and forth between modern day and 1340, weaving the past and present together and the true story of the doomed lovers. I loved how the story kept me guessing about who really were the bad ones, the good ones and the ones in between. It combines that mystery of underground tunnels, cold crypts, sacred cathedrals, & secret identities. It moves at a great pace, and just when you think you have it figured out.... you are wrong. The rich details, amazing writing and well researched history made this a great story.