Juliet by Anne Fortier, releasing the week of August 24th
This pleasing labyrinth takes readers back to the medieval Italian tale that inspired Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and then forward into a treasure hunt that will beguile fans of both Dan Brown and Sarah Dunant. A key leads young protagonist Julie on a search deep into her family's history and on the trail of "Juliet's Eyes," wondrous gemstones that ornament of vanished golden statue. Danger and romance await our heroine as she pursues her quest. Adeptly plotted; artfully written.
From Publishers Weekly:
Fortier bobs and weaves between Shakespearean tragedy and popular romance for a high-flying debut in which American Julie Jacobs travels to Siena in search of her Italian heritage--and possibly an inheritance--only to discover she is descended from 14th-century Giulietta Tomei, whose love for Romeo defied their feuding families and inspired Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Julie's hunt leads her to the families' descendants, still living in Siena, still feuding, and still struggling under the curse of the friar who wished a plague on both their houses. Julie's unraveling of the past is assisted by a Felliniesque contessa and the contessa's handsome nephew, and complicated by mobsters, police, and a mysterious motorcyclist. To understand what happened centuries ago, in the previous generation, and all around her, Julie relies on relics: a painting, a journal, a dagger, a ring. Readers enjoy the additional benefit of antique texts alternating with contemporary narratives, written in the language of modern romance and enlivened by brisk storytelling. 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.