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An Enthralling New Telling Of Shakespeare S Romeo And Juliet Told From The Perspective Of Juliet S NurseIn Verona, A City Ravaged By Plague And Political Rivalries, A Mother Mourning The Death Of Her Day Old Infant Enters The Household Of The Powerful Cappelletti Family To Become The Wet Nurse To Their Newborn Baby As She Serves Her Beloved Juliet Over The Next Fourteen Years, The Nurse Learns The Cappellettis Darkest Secrets Those Secrets And The Nurse S Deep Personal Grief Erupt Across Five Momentous Days Of Love And Loss That Destroy A Daughter, And A FamilyBy Turns Sensual, Tragic, And Comic, Juliet S Nurse Gives Voice To One Of Literature S Most Memorable And Distinctive Characters, A Woman Who Was Both Insider And Outsider Among Verona S Wealthy Ruling Class Exploring The Romance And Intrigue Of Interwoven Loyalties, Rivalries, Jealousies, And Losses Only Hinted At In Shakespeare S Play, This Is A Never Before Heard Tale Of The Deepest Love In Verona The Love Between A Grieving Woman And The Precious Child Of Her HeartIn The Tradition Of Sarah Dunant, Philippa Gregory, And Geraldine Brooks, Juliet S Nurse Is A Rich Prequel That Reimagines The World S Most Cherished Tale Of Love And Loss, Suffering And Survival


10 thoughts on “Juliets Nurse

  1. says:

    The story of Romeo Juliet s tragic romance is told from the wet nurse s POV and offers a different and tragic perspective from the over romanticized tellings from the various movies I was hooked from start to finish and believe this is a readers advisory librarian s dream recommendation the story is very compelling, the setting of 14th century Verona, Italy, is vivid, the characters are brought to amazing life, and the language is exquisite how can it not be if it s based on Shakespeare , plus there is much to learn and investigate further I can t wait to start recommending this to library patrons oh heck, why wait I ll just make sure it s on order and build some high anticipation.Also, this perfect for older teen girls, especially those who have read and perhaps wept over RJ I would also like to put this in the hands of every book group I know of.


  2. says:

    NOTE This review contains spoilers Please take heed and proceed at your own risk.Find this and other reviews at m not a huge fan of Romeo and Juliet, but Lois Leveen s Juliet s Nurse caught my eye Many of my favorite reviewers were touched by the author s handling of Shakespeare s classic and many were impressed with her interpretation of his characters, but having read the novel, I can t say I m in agreement with their admiration The story proved a pleasant enough diversion, but it wasn t quite what I d expected going in First and foremost, the story is horrendously slow The first half takes place during Juliet s first three years of life, but remarkably little happens during this period The author introduces many familiar characters Angelica, Juliet, Tybalt, Friar Lorenzo, Lord Cappelletti and his wife but she wallows in their backstories for chapters at time, utterly ignoring the fact that readers are familiar with these individuals and the circumstances that brought them together.Another thing I struggled with was Leveen s tendency to repeat herself Take for example, the deaths of Angelica s children I was so overexposed to this concept that I didn t care for the loss she suffered and the indifference that bred, crippled the story s central theme I realize Leveen was trying to draw on the sympathies of her audience, but I found her excessive reiteration desensitizing and dull To top things off, Leveen s heroine bored me It wasn t until the final third of the narrative that I felt Angelica took an active role in the story, but I couldn t help feeling the moment came too late I d checked out long before Leveen s fiction began to overlap Shakespeare s timeline and while I m happy with the author s intent, I felt the execution lacking Contrary to what you might think, there were elements in Juliet s Nurse I liked Leveen s handling of plague and its impact on seventeenth century life was quite interesting and there were moments involving Lady Cappelletti that had genuine potential, but neither proved compelling enough for this particular reader I feel the story a nice nod to the play on which it is based, but in all honesty, I don t think the author brought enough imagination to the table.


  3. says:

    Leveen s second novel imagines a backstory for the Nurse from Romeo and Juliet As middle age approaches, Angelica and her husband, beekeeper Pietro, are still passionately in love even though they have known much sadness When their baby daughter, Susanna, dies, she joins their six sons in the local graveyard Rich or poor, every loss we suffer is God s will, Angelica proclaims, smartly summarizing the medieval viewpoint Women had no choice over childbearing rather, we romp, and we rut, and we leave it to the saints to decide when the babies come Angelica rebounds from tragedy by going to work for Verona s Cappelletti Capulet family, as wet nurse for baby Juliet, in 1360 A fierce bond arises between them Juliet is my earth, and I am her moon Part II advances to 1374, when Juliet is 14 It is a time of earthquakes and infighting fear of the plague and street violence are constants Meanwhile, familiar characters like Juliet s cousin Tybalt, Mercutio, and Friar Lorenzo grow in importance.Two thirds of the way through the story, Shakespearean events begin The play takes place over just five days, so the action speeds up accordingly while true to the sense of melodrama, this sudden shift in both pace and language is jarring Compared to Angelica s previously earthy language, borrowed Shakespearean dialogue seems out of place Circumstances take their legendarily tragic turn, but readers learn that Juliet s loss devastates Angelica for an unexpected reason The you love, the you have to lose, she concludes.Leveen notes that, after Romeo and Juliet themselves, the Nurse gets the largest number of lines, and here she has her full say Juliet s Nurse is certainly sumptuously researched the Easter service at the Duomo and various delectable banquets are particular highlights Leveen traveled to Verona and consulted a beekeepers association to ensure authenticity Featured in my BookTrib article on this fall s literary spinoffs.


  4. says:

    Everyone knows the play, Romeo Juliet and how it concludes Yet, how many stop to imagine how each character came to be in his her position Lois Leveen does precisely this re imagining in, Juliet s Nurse Leveen s novel is a sort of prequel to Romeo Juliet envisioning Juliet s household and childhood years especially that of her relations with her nurse, Angelica As one can suspect, this can either make Juliet s Nurse quite riveting or a poor excuse for fan fiction.The story of Juliet s Nurse begins with an instant dive into Angelica s point of view life with no introduction in a sort of short story esque format Although this works in many other novels adding layers of depth it creates a barrier between the character and readers in Juliet s Nurse One doesn t fully understand Angelica or feel her inner thoughts are broken down completely Undeniably, Leveen s take on Juliet s childhood and familiar characters Tybalt, Lord Cappelletti, Friar Lorenzo, etc is unique, colorful, and offers a set up to the famous play The text is often times vividly illustrated and poignant Yet, although the prose isn t bad per se the plot is slow In the simplest terms, nothing truly happens and the relationship between Angelica and baby Juliet is uneventful There are many instances where the reader may stop to think, What is the point and what is this leading to Again, Juliet s Nurse isn t badly written it is merely the plot that is too thin.Despite this, Juliet s Nurse does have some intriguing, whimsical, and humorous moments Plus, Leveen interweaves some poetic prose reminiscent of Shakespeare s play and a little philosophical thought here and there which strengthens the novel.An odd and overly done detail of Juliet s Nurse is the focus on the highly amorous sex life of Angelica and her lusty husband, Pietro This may have some sort of motive on Leveen s end but it was completely lost on me, feeling unnecessary and with no cohesive connection to the plot It basically seemed like Leveen either wanted to add shock value or thought a HF novel taking place in Italy had to include sex In spite of these complaints, Juliet s Nurse is not a dense novel and therefore flows easily and reads quickly In this manner, the accessibility provokes the reader to continue on The second half of Juliet s Nurse skips ahead to Juliet s teen years becoming focused on the famous play s events Although the plot becomes riveting with Juliet being no longer a baby and Leveen s prose becomes poetic it also feels like another novel entirely resulting in some choppiness and confusion in regards to consistency.The concluding chapters of Juliet s Nurse heavily recall Romeo Juliet but also stand firm in their unique angle of focusing on familiar events with that of Angelica s views feelings On the other hand, some of Leveen s depictions are silly and unbelievable with the original play The ending of Juliet s Nurse wraps up the novel with a moralistic overview while an Author s Note explains the basis of the story in relation to the play leaving a memorable ending note.Overall, Juliet s Nurse is well written in terms of prose but the plot is a little flat and thin This doesn t mean that Juliet s Nurse is terrible it isn t but that it isn t mind blowing Regardless, being that the novel is a quick read it is suggested for those who enjoy Romeo Juliet or are fans of the author I would read novels from Leveen.


  5. says:

    I don t know why I even finished this one, I really don t There is nothing here that brings anything new or informative to the story Nothing.There is a big plot twist about 200 pages in yes, 200 pages before anything interesting happens and if you are interested view spoiler the nurse is actually Juliet s mother, her baby replaces the Capulet s baby who died, but no one tells her and no one knows or maybe the nurse just believes that is what happened as it is never clarified Maybe she sees in Juliet what she wants to see since she has lost all of her children hide spoiler


  6. says:

    How much do I love Shakespearean re tellings Let me count the ways Unlike Jane Austen retellings that can be all over the place and leave me with very mixed emotions, I ve absolutely adored how contemporary authors like Rachel Caine with Prince of Shadows and Susan Fraser Kingwith Lady Macbeth have knocked it out of the park Lois Leveen is no different and her Juliet s Nurse embodies the very essence of the Bard s literary magic Leveen s Angelica was the mother of six sons until they all became victims of the plague The story opens as Angelica is in childbirth with her seventh child and first daughter Tragically, baby Susanna dies and Angelina and her husband, Pierto, are left distraught However, Friar Lorenzo tells Pierto of a rich family that also gave birth to a daughter on that day and are in need of a wet nurse Angelica soon finds herself employed to take care of baby Juliet Cappelleti I loved the characterization of Angelica and the love she displays towards baby Juliet and the motherless Tybalt As well, I felt myself learning and rethinking all of the major characters in the original Romeo Juliet play My one confession is that the I read, the less I really like Romeo A story not to be missed


  7. says:

    This is a well written and enjoyable companion to the Shakespeare play with an imaginative but plausible backstory It s always enjoyable to revisit an old favourite and the shift of focus from the two young lovers to another character gives the well worn story new life.Angelica s first person narrative is arresting and arouses the reader s sympathy Her entrance into the Cappelletti family is quite believable although belief needs to be suspended at times, particularly in the book s final chapters no spoilers, though What was infuriating was how her well crafted language and dialogue was unnecessarily removed once the Shakespeare element of the story began To have his same lines repeated by her characters virtually verbatim was a poor choice by author and editor especially as I was looking forward to revisiting the play to line up the two versions in the near future Now there doesn t seem much point as I feel as though I ve just reread it Still a good read for RJ fans though and a useful addition to the adaptation canon.


  8. says:

    VERDICT Stunning historical novel revisiting a Shakespearean play we think we already know all too well, Juliet s Nurse will captivate its readers by its vibrant presentation of characters and their background story Brilliant.full review here


  9. says:

    Lois Leveen makes her readers feel smart She is expert at making connections that should be obvious to anyone, if only we had the time, curiosity, and creativity to find them To Leveen s wonderfully crafted plot, add lovely language and a cast of truly complex characters A sure bet for fans of Geraldine Brooks.


  10. says:

    Disclaimer I received a free copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway In Juliet s Nurse, Lois Leveen takes on the story of the nurse from Romeo Juliet The first half of the book is devoted to the bonding between Angelica, the nurse, and Juliet as a newborn through three year old And if you re going to talk about a wet nurse, there s going to be a lot of talk about breastfeeding But Angelica is also a bit randy to put it mildly and her husband can t get his fill of her often enough, so of course there s a lot of sex and sex talk, too The story also involves Tybalt and his attachment to the nurse and to Juliet, and even to Angelica s husband Pietro and his bees.For me, by about 30% of the way through the book I d had enough of the narration of Juliet s breastfeeding, talking about how Angelica lost her virginity to her much older husband at the ripe age of 12, sex jokes, and finding ways to sneak sex with her husband And the sheer number of times she mentioned her six boys lost to the plague was staggering Almost every time she mentioned one of their names, it was followed up with something like, but the plague took them and everything I loved I feel like there wasn t enough to this nurse to make her into a full character or story It relied too much on the fact that she was a wet nurse, that she loved Juliet and Tybalt, that she loved her husband, and she missed her sons.That s not to say it wasn t well written, and by the time we got to part two things started moving a bit quickly It is around the 75% mark where we start getting into the story that Shakespeare wrote, with a few lines from the play thrown in, and the dialogue changing actually quite noticeably to Shakespearean language It was not nearly as obvious in the first half of the book as it was when we flash forward to Juliet s 13th year This part was interesting, although I really had to make myself get over how close Juliet and Angelica were since, in this century, it would seem odd and a bit uncomfortable for me for a nurse to clean her charge s teeth and sleep cuddled up with her every night at 13 years old There is a lot to the story of why this happens, and I don t claim to be an historian so I don t know if it would have been normal back then, but even so it made me feel uncomfortable, a bit leery.The copy I received was an advanced reader, so there were many many typos and wrong words and missing letters and such Hopefully they have all been fixed in the final release.It was a good book, but I didn t love it, only liked it It had an interesting perspective to present, and a strange back story to develop Nice speculative fiction based on previous fiction Just not something I really loved.