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New Release: Juliet

512f10COK2L._SL160_By Anne Fortier
Ballantine Books | 464 pages
Release Date: August 24, 2010

Summary:
The heartbreak that Julie Jacobs feels over the loss of her cherished aunt Rose soon turns to puzzled dismay as she learns the entire estate has been left to Julie’s twin sister, while she herself has only been bequeathed a single key. The mystery and adventure of Anne Fortier’s Juliet, begins with this small key, once owned by Julie’s dead mother, that fits a safety-deposit box in the city of Siena, Italy. The Twenty-five-year-old American travels to Siena and unlocks not only the box, but dangerous secrets about her Italian ancestors. She discovers a familial link to Giulietta Tolomei, a girl who fell in love with a young man from a rival family named Romeo in 1340, all to disastrous effect. This tragic love story went on to be immortalized through the ages by artists and writers, most famously by Shakespeare himself. The letters that Julie finds in the safety-deposit box point to the long hidden treasure of “Juliet’s Eyes,” beautiful jewels that adorn a gold statue. In her quest to find the valuable artifact, she encounters a mysterious contessa as well as intimidating mobsters, and realizes the blood feud that started between ancient families still exists in modern Siena. Alternating between the 21st and 14th centuries, Fortier weaves a story of intrigue and romance centered around one of the world’s most famous couples.

What critics are saying:
Born and raised in Denmark, Anne Fortier has a Ph.D from Aarhus University in the history of ideas. She moved to the U.S. in 2002 to pursue a career in the film industry, and was co-producer of Fire and Ice: The Winter War of Finland and Russia, an Emmy-winning documentary. Overall, critics have judged Juliet to be a fun read, though some found the plot a bit contrived. “Fortier navigates around false clues and twists, resulting in a dense, heavily plotted love story that reads like a Da Vinci Code for the smart modern woman,” concludes Publishers Weekly.

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