An enthralling new telling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet - told from the perspective of Juliet’s nurse.
In Verona, a city ravaged by plague and political rivalries, a mother mourning the death of her day-old infant enters the household of the powerful Cappelletti family to become the wet-nurse to their newborn baby. As she serves her beloved Juliet over the next 14 years, the nurse learns the Cappellettis’ darkest secrets. Those secrets - and the nurse’s deep personal grief - erupt across five momentous days of love and loss that destroy a daughter, and a family.
By turns sensual, tragic, and comic, Juliet’s Nurse gives voice to one of literature’s most memorable and distinctive characters, a woman who was both insider and outsider among Verona’s wealthy ruling class. Exploring the romance and intrigue of interwoven loyalties, rivalries, jealousies, and losses only hinted at in Shakespeare’s play, this is a never-before-heard tale of the deepest love in Verona - the love between a grieving woman and the precious child of her heart.
In the tradition of Sarah Dunant, Philippa Gregory, and Geraldine Brooks, Juliet’s Nurse is a rich prequel that reimagines the world’s most cherished tale of love and loss, suffering and survival.
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Good try but no go
i would not recommend this book. I am an avid reader of historical fiction and also enjoy Shakespeare so this book naturally piqued my curiosity. The first part of the book was entertaining; it revolves around Juliet's nurse and her background and how the relationship between the two develops. It also tells us about Juliet's family and the not all together satisfactory relationship between her parents. Although the book is generally well written and the second part adds detail to the story we already know and love, the two parts seemed to be forced together. I really wanted to like this book but had to make an effort to finish the second part....the drama becomes diluted and what we get is not such a good re- write of something that worked well in its original version.
I liked the way Nicolas Barber read the nurse. The bond developed between milk mother and milk daughter is touching and not inconceivable given the parenting practices among the wealthy of that age.
This was an interesting attempt to further explore or develop a classic. I have seen this done with Pride and Prejudice and with Macbeth. I do not think that Shakespeare lends himself to this sort of thing particularly well. Perhaps such monumental works should be allowed to stand alone.
- Colleen T.