Thursday, October 30, 2014

(Review) Juliet's Nurse by Lois Leveen, Plus a Giveaway

Publisher: Simon and Schuster/Atria/Emily Bestler Books, September 23, 2014.
Genre: Historical fiction, Verona, Italy, Romeo and Juliet.
Format: Hardcover.
Pages: 416.
Rating: 5 Stars for excellent.
Source: Free copy from Italy Book Tours and Emily Bestler Books in exchange for a review.

Summary:
1360, Verona, Italy.
Angelica and Pietro have been married thirty years. Their last child, born in mid-life, is a precious daughter they name Susanna. Susanna's life ends before it begins. Angelica is summoned to be a wet-nurse to another new born precious baby girl. The baby's name is Juliet Cappelletti. Angelica misses her beloved Pietro, but the bond with Juliet is strong.
The story begins in 1360 and ends in 1375.
Angelica is the voice/narrator of the story.
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy/play written by William Shakespeare. The following link will give the ability to read the tragedy in its entirety: Romeo and Juliet. 
The tragedy was written in possibly 1591 to 1597. It was published in quarto in 1597. The story is based on an old Italian love story/tragic tale.

My Thoughts:
I'm moved emotionally by the quattro love story. The tragedy/love story between Romeo and Juliet is the back story-important, but the focus of the story is Angelica, the nurse of Juliet.
The three additional love stories are Angelica and Pietro, Angelica and Juliet, Angelica and Tybalt.
Angelica is a common denominator in each of the relationships.
In my mind, I picture Angelica as a voluptuous, passionate, affectionate, wise, open-large-hearted woman. She has experienced multiple tragedies in her life. But the tragedies did not dry her heart preventing her from loving again. She is an admirable character. She is beyond the perfection of motherhood, she is like a dream.
Pietro is the masculine image of Angelica. They are a beautiful match.
It's interesting to me that in Juliet's Nurse, Romeo only has a few words. He is a stranger, an impostor. Angelica is the mother bear defending her baby Juliet against a wolf named Romeo.
I love this story and have enjoyed reminiscing over it.

Lois Leveen is the author of The Secrets of Mary Bowser. I will be reviewing this book in early November.


Author Lois Leveen is an award winning historian, author, and former college professor. She holds degrees in history and literature from Harvard, UCLA, and USC. She traveled to Verona, Italy, to research Juliet's Nurse, as well as apprenticing herself to an urban beekeeping group in her adopted hometown of Portland, Oregon, to write accurately about the life cycle of hives. Lois has given talks in Finland, France, and throughout the US about the historical research behind Juliet's Nurse, and about how she approached challenging themes of teen violence, suicide, and plague epidemics in adapting Shakespeare for contemporary readers. Her first novel, The Secrets of Mary Bowser based on the true story of an African American woman who spied for the Union during the Civil War by posing as a slave in the Confederate White House, was a 2012 Target Book Club pick and is currently being adapted into a Broadway musical.
Contact information: 
Twitter @LoisLeveen
booking@loisleveen.com


Links for the Tour Schedule and Giveaway

Oct 20 - Studentessa Matta - review / giveaway
Oct 21 - Unabridged Chick - review / giveaway
Oct 22 - Savings in Seconds - review / interview
Oct 23 - My Devotional Thoughts -  interview / giveaway
Oct 24 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review / giveaway
Oct 28 - Unabridged Chick -  interview
Oct 29 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review / interview
Oct 29 - View from the Birdhouse - review / giveaway
Oct 30 - Impressions in Ink - review
Oct 31 - Words and Peace - review / interview / giveaway
Oct 31 - Library of Clean Reads - review / giveaway
Oct 31 - Like a Bump on a Blog - review / guest post

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