“Dolce Pazzia”* – Anne Fortier’s “Juliet”

*sweet madness

This book was recommended to me by a fellow reader at my office. It sounded similar to another book I read earlier this year (The Gargoyle, by Andrew Davidson) as it is kind of a mix between the present and the past, as two (or more, in the case of The Gargoyle) stories interweave throughout. It’s yet another novel told in the first person by a female main character (I must have set some kind of personal record for this in 2010). It’s a page-turner and really kept me guessing as to what would happen next. There are several “surprises” as you read along and many twists of the plot.

The gist of the story is that the main character, Julie Jacobs (or, as we learn later, Giulietta Tolomei) travels to Siena, Italy, at the prompting of her aunt’s will, to seek a “treasure” that her mother may have left there for her. She is also shocked to learn that her aunt’s will ostensibly leaves everything to her twin sister (fraternal twin). On her trip she learns that she is a descendant of the family upon which the story of Romeo and Juliet was based. (I had learned previously in my reading of Isaac Asimov’s commentary on Shakespeare’s plays that the bard “borrowed” the plot of his play from an earlier Italian story – perhaps legend). Fortier’s takes this idea and runs with it. What Julie finds in her mother’s safe deposit box in Italy is “just a bunch of papers and manuscripts” that seem to have little monetary value. What they turn out to be, however, is a roadmap back to the history of 600-years past, and her ancestors participation therein. A great read, perhaps not to be taken too seriously, but high entertainment.

An interesting review, not too spoiler ridden, but be careful, from the Washington Post can be found here http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/03/AR2010090305379.html

Sent from my iPad

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