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This book is modern day re-telling of the story of Romeo and Juliet, complete with warring families, a look at Italian history, a family curse and, of course, love. The story follows Julie Jacobs (aka Giulietta Tolomei), following the death of her beloved Aunt Rose, when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie’s twin sister Janice. 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 sets the stage for Julie's trip to Siena to follow clues in search of her family's great secret and possibly a great treasure. The text alternates between Julie's modern day discoveries in Italy and the historical background of the story of Romeo and Juliet (who Julie may be directly descended from). I think this book could be described as historical fiction as well as a thriller, though I felt it was a little thin as a romance. The historical retelling of the Romeo and Juliet was the more interesting part of the novel—some of the modern characters were just a little too silly or obnoxious—leaving the novel somewhat uneven. A 3 ½ out of 5 stars.
posted Apr 7, 2014 at 11:19AM
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Inherited a key worn by her mother until the day she died; travels to Italy to find the safety deposit box the key belongs to; discovered she is descended from 14th-century Giuletta Tomei, whose love for Romeo inspired Shakespeare to write "Romeo and Juliet"; finds her families' descendants who are still feuding and who believe they are cursed by a friar.