Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Book Review: O, Juliet by Robin Maxwell

Synopsis: (From the Publisher)
Before Juliet Capelletti lie two futures: a traditionally loveless marriage to her father's business partner, or the fulfillment of her poetic dreams, inspired by the great Dante. Unlike her beloved friend Lucrezia, who looks forward to her arranged marriage, Juliet has a wild, romantic imagination that knows not the bounds of her great family's stalwart keep. 
The latter path is hers for the taking when Juliet meets Romeo Monticecco, a soulful young man seeking peace between their warring families. A dreamer himself, Romeo is unstoppable, once he determines to capture the heart of the remarkable woman foretold in his stars. The breathless intrigue that ensues is the stuff of beloved legend. But those familiar with Shakespeare's muse know only half the story...

My Review:

Shakespeare's timeless tale of two star-crossed lovers comes to life in a whole new way with Robin Maxwell's O, Juliet.

Romeo Monticecco and Juliet Capelletti meet by chance during a masked ball in honor of Juliet's best friends betrothal. It is this on this starry night that a love forms between them, a love so strong that it binds them closer together with each passing day. With their love being perfect in every way, there should be no doubt of their imminent marriage, but their future is full of blockades, with the most prominent one being that their two families are bitter enemies...

Romeo has always been hopeful for peace between their two families and now, with his greatest love on the line, he is more determined then ever to end the century old blood feud. Unfortunately, Jacopo Strozzi, Juliets future betrothed, is just as determined to sabotage any chance of peace so he can claim Juliet and a lucrative business partnership for himself...

While trying to find a way out of their horrible predicament, Romeo and Juliet rely on secret meetings, touching poems and their love for the works of Dante to help them endure their trials. Even when secrets, murder and betrayals begin to occur, Romeo and Juliet refuse to give up on their future and there is no limit to what they will do for love...

O, Juliet has all the classic romance of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet while combining new intrigue and twists. The result of such a mixture is a splendid and enthralling new take on a timeless classic. When I first heard that there was a new book on Romeo and Juliet, I was a bit skeptical weather or not it would live up to Shakespeare's work, but after reading a couple pages my doubts quickly vanished. This enchanting novel is told mostly from Juliet's point of view; but she is not our usual Juliet. In this version she is a strong, self-thinking and knowledgeable woman who is not afraid to take action. With every page, I soaked up the breathtaking romance that was unfolding before me, never wanting it to end. When the end did come, it was beautifully done leaving the reader completely satisfied and at peace. There are not enough words to describe the depth of how touching this novel was, I can only say that it will definitely be a book I will read again and again.

A Little Extra:
Romeo and Juliet have inspired artists for centuries. Here are some of those paintings:
My personal favorite by Sir Frank Dicksee.
Karl Ludwig Friedrich Becker
Francesco Hayez
This one is another favorite of mine that I found by chance a long time ago. Unfortunately, I am yet to discover the artist.  

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