Juliet by Anne Fortier, 17 of 52

Well here I am again, another instalment for my blog. I have been very productive if I do say so myself. I have just completed another book in a week which is amazing, obviously working fulltime is a good thing for me. Perhaps because it is a wonderful way to unwind after a long busy day at work and to forget about all the things I haven’t been able to do (ie housework)…my version of not ‘sweating the small stuff’.

This book is an intriguing tale that includes the Shakespearean characters of Romeo and Juliet. I love a historical book of fiction, especially when combined with time travelling, ghosts and mystery. This story held great promise of a complex and fascinating tale, but I have to say that although I polished it off fairly quickly, it just lacked a certain something.

The book itself isn’t really bad nor is it really good, the story is quite fun, but it lacked some real substance and I found the characters all a bit cliched and unbelievable. I enjoyed the historical facts that were laced throughout the book, but the actual linking of Romeo and Juliet to the main characters, Siena, the familial naming that had been passed down for centuries, just left me a bit cold and dumbfounded. Maybe I am hard to please, but the linkages were all too tenous and bizarre to really drag me in. I would say that Kate Mosse  handles this genre in a much more skilled manner in her book Labyrinth.

The main character of the book is waspish and unappealing, she seems to lack much of a back bone and has a dominating and obnoxious twin sister. She finds out on the death of her Aunt that her mother has left something valuable for her in Siena. Julie sets of to Siena, with no italian at all which surprises me also, to find out what money her mother has left her. I had problems with the story from this point, as travelling to Siena she is advised not to draw too much attention to herself. What does she do, she tells everybody that she is Guilietta Tolomei and seems to lack any commonsense even after discovering that her family was involved with something in the not to distant and very distant past that was dangerous.

The end of the story seems to sit so far outside the feel of the rest of the book that I felt a bit disappointed. There is a happy ending and I am sure many people will love it for what it is. Again not a really bad work of fiction, but certainly not a good one or a must read.

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