Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Book Review- O, Juliet

I just finished reading O, Juliet by Robin Maxwell.

From Goodreads:

"One of the queens of historical fiction" offers a new take on the mesmerizing young woman and poetess who inspired Shakespeare's most famous female character.

Before Juliet Capelletti lie two futures: a traditionally loveless marriage to her father's business partner, or the fulfillment of her poetic dreams, inspired by the great Dante. Unlike her beloved friend Lucrezia, who looks forward to her arranged marriage, Juliet has a wild, romantic imagination that knows not the bounds of her great family's stalwart keep.

The latter path is hers for the taking when Juliet meets Romeo Monticecco, a soulful young man seeking peace between their warring families. A dreamer himself, Romeo is unstoppable, once he determines to capture the heart of the remarkable woman foretold in his stars. The breathless intrigue that ensues is the stuff of beloved legend. But those familiar with Shakespeare's muse know only half the story...
Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been fascinated by Romeo and Juliet.  It probably started when I remember seeing my mom cry for the first time watching a movie (it was the older version of Romeo and Juliet).  The next time it came on, she let me stay up late to watch it with her.  I don't think I understood most of it at the time, but I was hooked.
Growing up, I loved Shakespeare's version of Romeo and Juliet and often used monologues from the play.  So when I was offered the chance to read this version of the star-crossed lovers' tale, I immediately accepted.
I enjoyed this version.  The story was set in a different time and location (fifteenth century Florence instead of sixteenth century Verona) but there was still the main plot.  Romeo and Juliet were older in this story, but that made more sense to me, for them to fall in love so quickly.  The only thing I felt was awkward was that some of the things that the characters were saying and thinking didn't really seem to fit the time to me.  But I enjoyed it all the same.  I also liked how the pair was extremely fond of the poet Dante because it was something they had in common and I also liked how the ending was slightly changed.
If you're a fan of historical fiction, or love the Romeo and Juliet story, then you will enjoy this one!
I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.
This book was released today.
This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2010 100+ Reading Challenge: 18
A to Z Challenge: X
*FTC Disclosure: This book was given to me for free by Caitlin at Penguin Group (USA) for a honest review.


  1. Oooh, I love the star-crossed tale of Romeo and Juliet. Great review, it sounds like a wonderful read. Though as in the ending was slightly changed, does that mean it's happier?

  2. I love the retelling of an old story, especially if it's done well. Will have to keep an eye out for this one.

  3. Love books by Robin Maxwell, but haven't read this one yet. Thanks for your review!