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Publisher's Summary

Twenty-five-year-old Julie Jacobs is heartbroken over the death of her beloved Aunt Rose. But the shock goes even deeper when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie’s twin sister. The only thing Julie receives is a key—one carried by her mother on the day she herself died—to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy.
This key sends Julie on a journey that will change her life forever—a journey into the troubled past of her ancestor Giulietta Tolomei.
In 1340, still reeling from the slaughter of her parents, Giulietta was smuggled into Siena, where she met a young man named Romeo. Their ill-fated love turned medieval Siena upside-down and went on to inspire generations of poets and artists, the story reaching its pinnacle in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy.
But six centuries have a way of catching up to the present, and Julie gradually begins to discover that here, in this ancient city, the past and present are hard to tell apart. The deeper she delves into the history of Romeo and Giulietta, and the closer she gets to the treasure they allegedly left behind, the greater the danger surrounding her—superstitions, ancient hostilities, and personal vendettas. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in the unforgettable blood feud, she begins to fear that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is destined to be its next target. Only someone like Romeo, it seems, could save her from this dreaded fate, but his story ended long ago. Or did it?
From Anne Fortier comes a sweeping, beautifully written novel of intrigue and identity, of love and legacy, as a young woman discovers that her own fate is irrevocably tied—for better or worse—to literature’s greatest star-crossed lovers.
©2010 Anne Fortier (P)2010 Random House, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"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." (Publishers weekly)
“One of those rare novels that have it all. . . I was swept away.” (Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Glory on 09-01-10

Excellent! Merits 20 hours

I took a chance on this book, trying to explore genres other than detective mysteries and nonfiction. It was definitely worth it. The depth of the characters and the intricacy of plot compelled me to listen way past bedtime. I am not a fan of the Da Vinci Code, and am surprised by the comparisons. The writing is excellent, if a bit immature. But this does not lead to distraction. I look forward to seeing how Ms. Fortier's talent becomes more skilled. Absolutely engrossing!

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14 of 14 people found this review helpful


By Life Adventurer on 09-11-10

Well written, captivating

This was a GREAT BOOK, from the first sentence to the last. I found myself captivated at the weaving of stories, past and present. Full of twists, turns and surpirses, the writing never failed to keep me intrigued. The narration was excellent. At the end, I was crying and laughing and full of that feeling that only comes from a truly satisfying book.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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