JULIET Finds a Few Romeos

While the first consumer review for Ballantine’s major debut novel, Juliet by Anne Fortier, was not promising (Entertainment Weekly gave it a B-), the current issue of USA Today pronounces the book “..kind of fun, careening back and forth between the 14th and 21st centuries” although the plot, about a contemporary woman who goes to Siena to find treasure left to her in a will, leading to the discovery of her ancestor, the Juliet of Shakespeare fame, “… is convoluted.” The new issue of O, The Oprah magazine lists is as #1 of 10 Books to Pick Up in September 2010.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer published a much more jaundiced review on Sunday, in the form of an imaginary pitch from an agent selling the book and a potential publisher (“Anne Fortier’s Juliet: The DaVinci Code for soccer moms?“). Fortier has dealt with accusations of “commercialism” before; several days ago, she addressed them in a post about “literary snobbery” on the WSJ‘s “Speakeasy” blog.

The press in Canada, where the Danish-born author lives, has been much more welcoming. The Globe and Mail on Saturday referred to it as “a mix of Shakespeare and contemporary romantic-comedy fun, making it the perfect escapist read.”

Some libraries are showing significant holds (over 5:1) on modest ordering.

Anne Fortier
Retail Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books – (2010-08-24)
ISBN / EAN: 0345516109 / 9780345516107

RH Audio; UNABR; 9780739384954; $40
Random House Large Print, 9780739377994; pbk; $25

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