Title: Juliet's Nurse
Author: Lois Leveen
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A different take on the classic Shakespearean play, Romeo and Juliet, Leveen offers us a slightly more humorous take on the tragedy, from the eyes of the woman Juliet was close to--her nurse. A wonderfully researched novel, laced with humor and darkness. Highly recommended to those who love the classic.
This book was given to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Juliet's nurse is a character who, despite getting a lot of lines in the famous play, readers don't know much about. Leveen breathes life into her and forms her into Angelica: a bawdy, humorous older woman who has seen more than her fair share of suffering in her life. Angelica is happy as she can possibly be in the wealthy Cappeletti house, despite it all. In raising Juliet, she finds delight. But when her girl grows into a young woman and falls in love, she finds that even she may not be able to shield Juliet from the bitterness of life.. And if she isn't careful, it just might take her as well..
What I enjoyed:
-I liked the way that the reader was offered a front-row seat to an age-old classic, from a highly enjoyable narrator
-Angelica herself, the woman who has suffered so much pain--and yet finds joy in raising Juliet from the first--I really enjoyed seeing the play from the point of view from the sidelines, and through her--I deeply felt for her
-Pietro, Angelica's sweet, gentle bear of a husband
-Juliet, the young woman that falls for the wrong man, and ends up paying the price for it in the end
-Tybalt, the hot-headed young man who wants more than anything to please his family, war-mongering and fighting just to please his father
-I enjoyed the ending as well, sad and bittersweet, doing justice to the play
What could've been better:
-The pacing could've done with some work--I really felt that most of the book revolved around Juliet's childhood, and it was a little slow
Overall, Juliet's Nurse was an enjoyable read, and I really liked it. Next on deck: Chronicles of the Cursed by Nicole DelaCroix!