Elevate Difference

Juliet: A Novel

We all know Shakespeare's story of two star crossed lovers; it’s heartbreakingly romantic and tragic at the same time. It’s also a storyline that has lasted since its debut and has inspired many a story since.

One of these stories—Juliet—is the authorial debut of Anne Fortier.

We've all read, one way or another, some twist of the Bard’s original play. And if you’re a writer you may have written one yourself (I know I have). That’s not a crime—it’s a classic for a reason, after all. The real crime would be not doing the original piece justice—a crime Anne Fortier has not committed.

In Juliet, our author asks a question many historians have asked: “Were Romeo and Juliet real?” That question begins a magical adventure-filled ride through the beautiful Italian city of Siena.

Julie Jacobs is your average twenty-something year-old who doesn't know much about who she is; except for the fact that she's spent most of her life in the shadow of her flamboyant twin sister Janice. When their aunt Rose dies, Julie embarks on a treasure hunt that her mother, dead of twenty years, left to her.

As expected Julie's hunt is for gold and jewels, but the real mystery and treasure is buried in the histories of Siena and her family.

In Juliet, it turns out that Shakespeare didn't know how close to the truth he came when he wrote the words, “A plague on both your houses.” Julie crawls around in forgotten Siena tunnels, gets chased down cobblestone streets by some shrouded guy on a motorcycle, and unwittingly falls in love with both her destined enemy and her Romeo. Readers go on not one, but two, journeys as the novel flips seamlessly back and forth between Julie's story in the present and Romeo and Juliet's of 1340.

With too many plot twists to count, five centuries of family drama, and power struggles, Juliet can please any type of reader—whether you enjoy historical fiction, romance, adventure, or mysteries, Anne Fortier has managed to put it all in this very satisfying rewrite of a literary king.

It is a daring author who will take on Shakespeare with their first novel and a talented one who can do it so well. I wait with bated breath to see what comes next.

Written by: Nina Lopez-Ortiz, October 28th 2010