Romeo and Juliet is familiar tale. Anyone who has sat through High School English has read it at least once. Ask anyone off the street to quote a line from a Shakespeare play, a line from Romeo and Juliet will probably be the first line they quote.
Julie Jacobs lost both of her parents when she was a young girl. She and her sister, Janice were raised by their Aunt Rose. At the beginning of the novel, her aunt has died. Julie’s inheritance is a key to a safe deposit box in Siena, Italy. She is told that the contents of the safe deposit box will guide her to a centuries old family treasure. Arriving in Siena, Julie discovers that not only is her birth name Guilietta Tolomei, but she is descended from a woman who was the real life inspiration to the title female character in Romeo and Juliet.
I liked this book more than I did the Lost Sisterhood. It contains the same elements, an ancient mystery and lives centuries apart that are somehow intertwined. Ms. Fortier repeats the use of flashback and flash forwards to tell the story of medieval and modern Guilietta. I have never been to Siena, but I felt like I was there with the characters. It’s a bit shorter than her newest novel, which for me made a big difference. I recommend it.