By Robin Maxwell
(NAL Trade, Paperback, 9780451229151, 352pp.)
Publication Date: February 2, 2010
Categories: Historical - General
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 into the Medici dynasty, Juliet has a wild, romantic imagination that takes flight in the privacy of her bedchamber and on her garden balcony.
Her life and destiny are forever changed 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.Watch a Video
Robin Maxwell is the national bestselling author of eight novels of historical fiction. She lives in the high desert of California with her husband, yogi Max Thomas.
- The role that families played in arranging marriages in fifteenth-century Italy—indeed, in most of the civilized world—was enormous. Children had little or no say in the husband or wife chosen for them. Does it surprise you to know the practice continues even today? In what regions of the world and at what levels of society do you imagine this still happens?
"Maxwell delivers a mesmerizing retelling of the famous star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, in her latest novel, set in Italy at the beginning of the Renaissance. Juliet Capelletti is a headstrong, intelligent young lady who is facing an arranged marriage to Jacopo Strozzi, her father's new business partner. She does not look forward to her match but knows that it will make her parents happy. Juliet's entire future is forever changed one night at the engagement party of her best friend, Lucrezia, when she meets the handsome Romeo Monticecco. Romeo is at the party to seek reconciliation between his family and the Capelettis, who have been feuding and retaliating against each other for years.
Juliet and Romeo find a chance to talk together alone under the stars, and their destiny unfolds. Both are surprised by the other's passion for poetry and shared interest in Dante Alighieri's Vita Nuova. After their first meeting, Juliet is determined to find a way out of her upcoming marriage to Jacopo, even though this means defying her family's wishes for her and possibly destroying the business between her father and her betrothed.
What unfolds is a beautiful love story between the soul mates Romeo and Juliet. Maxwell realistically portrays the torment with which Juliet is faced as she wonders what her future holds. The things I enjoyed the most about the novel were how Maxwell drew parallels between Dante and his love, Beatrice, and Romeo and Juliet, and her use of poetry and quotes from Dante throughout the novel. Readers will savor this exquisite and magical love story."
-The Historical Novels Review [Editor's Choice]
"Not many writers would dare to compete with William Shakespeare. But Robin Maxwell pulls it off. Her star-crossed young lovers are just as unforgettable as the Bard's, and now readers get to see what happens off-stage."
-Sharon Kay Penman, New York Times bestselling author of Devil's Brood
"A page-turner that will leave you breathless."
-Lalita Tademy, Oprah's Book Club Pick and New York Times bestselling author of Cane River
"A reigning queen of historical fiction takes on the treasured tale of Romeo and Juliet in a tribute that would make Shakespeare stand up and cheer...I love this book!"
-Michelle Moran, National bestselling author of Cleopatra's Daughter
"Maxwell conjures up an intimate historical re-telling of the timeless classic, evoking the world's most famous lovers with breathtaking passion and literary elegance."
-C.W. Gortner, author of The Last Queen