Like a lot of the world, I’ve been captivated by the story of Romeo and Juliet ever since the first time I read it. I was drawn in by the all-consuming passion these two characters felt for each other and the sad circumstances that led to their end. I remember thinking to myself that when I grown up I hope to have the chance to feel such an awe-inspiring love for another person. And once I met my husband, I knew what it was to feel that. It’s exhilarating, but scary at the same time!
In O, Juliet Robin Maxwell tackles her own version of Shakespeare’s golden couple – bringing new characters and plots into the mix. Juliet Capalleti is the 18 year old daughter of a prominent Florentine silk tradesman, and about to be married to a hideous soon-to-be business partner of her father’s, Jacopo. While loath to let his daughter go, this is the only way he can think of to save the family business. Jacopo, on the other hand, is quite happy with the situation – he gets to be part of Florence’s most famous silk producer and he also gets a wife, whom he plans on using as a baby-making machine, while still enjoying his mistresses.
One night, while attending her best friend’s party, Juliet meets Romeo, a member of the Capalleti’s rival family – the Monticecco’s. Drawn together by their mutual love of prose, in particular, that of Dante Alighieri, the teenagers fall in love and begin to meet in secret - their affection for each other growing with each meeting. As the time for Juliet’s wedding to Jacopo draws closer, they become more and more desperate to find a way to be together.
All in all, I found O, Juliet to be a very pleasant and mellifluous read. Maxwell is an excellent author – her descriptions of Florence and her ability to bring uniqueness to each character is a real telling of her talent. Juliet is sweet, feisty, intelligent young woman, in love with the written word and not afraid to go after what she wants! And Romeo, oh Romeo, is such a charming and gentle soul…add into that a romantic poet and you’ve got one irresistible guy! Now, I do have one critique about this book – it wasn’t long enough! I wanted more!
O, Juliet is a great novel to curl up to by the fire, sipping hot cocoa (cause chocolate is an aphrodisiac), with a little Barry White playing in the background!
Chocked full of passion, love and poetry, O, Juliet would be a welcome addition to any literature lover’s bookshelf!
Check back in a few days for a giveaway announcement to win your very own copy of O, Juliet!