Dec 14th, 2010 by Lisa
Juliet by Anne Fortier
Juliet by Anne Fortier is the story of a grad school drop out drawn to Shakespeare summer camps who inherits a key when her aunt passes away. The key takes her on a journey to Siena, Italy where she discovers the truth about her ancestors and her own past.
From the publisher (Random House):
When Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy, she is told it will lead her to an old family treasure. Soon she is launched on a winding and perilous journey into the history of her ancestor Giulietta, whose legendary love for a young man named Romeo rocked the foundations of medieval Siena. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in Shakespeare’s unforgettable blood feud, she begins to realize that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is the next target. It seems that the only one who can save Julie from her fate is Romeo—but where is he?
Book Club Party Ideas for Juliet by Anne Fortier
When deciding what to wear for your book club party for Juliet, consider this quote: “But he is an Italian..He doesn’t care if you break some law a little bit, as long as you wear beautiful shoes.” (page 32) Hip Chick has a selection of shoes that would please any Italian!
If you want to be part of the Marescotti clan, you can wear an eagle tattoo (temporary, of course) on your forearm, like Alessandro.
I looked everywhere to find something that resembled the cencio, but no luck. It was a blue silk banner with the Virgin Mary painted on it, her hair bound by a halo and her hands raised in blessing.
Book Club Menu for Juliet
Julie’s first meal in Siena was at a bustling pizzeria so we decided to have our book club at Fralo’s Art of Pizza, an award-winning restaurant with out of this world pizza. Read the blog post about Fralo’s to get some great pizza making tips.
We started off the night with Prosecco…a favorite of everyone in the group.
Then the mouthwatering pizza!
In Juliet, while at dinner with Alessandro, Julie dipped Cantucci in Vin Santo. Cantucci are almond biscotti that are traditionally served at the end of a meal. They are dipped in a sweet dessert wine or vin santo (which means holy wine).
Although I prefer biscotti dipped in coffee, the flavor of the almond/amaretto cookie and wine was surprisingly good. But we were bummed we had chunks of biscotti floating in our wine.
Other Juliet-inspired dishes include ribollita soup (page 234) and chocolate panforte (page 265). Ribollita soup is a typical Sienese dish made with a variety of vegetables and beans. Panforte, also known as Siena Cake, is similar to fruit cake and often served at Christmas time.
Book Club Resources
Ratings at the time this post was published
|Goodreads: 3.82 stars (2545 ratings)|
|Amazon: 4 stars (141 reviews)|
|Barnes & Noble: 4.5 stars (335 ratings)|
|My Rating: 4 stars|
- “Ingenious, intriguing, a thrilling story that keeps you turning the pages. This is a wonderfully textured novel of history and imagination that brings Italy, past and present, beautifully to life.” —Kate Mosse, author of Labyrinth and Sepulchre
- “A feast of myth, history, and tantalizing indulgences—I was swept away, blown away, and taken for ransom. Anne Fortier breathes new life into the Shakespearean tragedy we thought we knew. I fell in love with Juliet all over again”—Jaime Ford, author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
- “Taking her story back to the 1300s and forward the present, and sprinkling historical facts among the fiction, Anne Fortier creates a dazzling tale that will keep the readers enthralled to the very last sentence!” – Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Discussion Questions for Juliet by Anne Fortier
- Did you like how the story transitioned between modern day and the 1300s? How important were the historical aspects of the novel?
- At what point did you decide you were going to like or dislike this book? Did the storyline grab you right away or did it take some time to get into the story?
- In our book club discussion, many people did not like the character of Janice, although some thought she was funny. What was your opinion of her? What do you think made her act the way she did – love or jealousy?
- Do you think “the curse upon both their houses” truly existed?
- How are the modern day Romeo and Juliet similar to their ancestors, Romeo and Giulietta? How are they different?
Purchase Juliet at your favorite bookseller
About the Author
Visit Anne Fortier’s website
Read about the influence Anne’s mom had on her writing Juliet by clicking here.
Browse this photo gallery of the sites around Siena. Below each picture is a description of the scene in which Anne Fortier incorporates the photo (taken by her mother) into Juliet.
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