When Angelica loses her infant, she becomes the wet-nurse for Juliet Cappelletti. Juliet is a very privileged baby girl. She’s doted on by her nurse, but ignored by her mother. As she grows older, Angelica can’t help but notice something strangely familiar about the beautiful young lady.
Everyone knows the tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet. In this retelling the author lets Angelica tell the story of Juliet’s life from the beginning. The storyline takes readers through her life and we see her grow. This hooked me because it is a different spin on an old tale.
The author does a good job in illustrating the setting. It is very easy to visualize the castles, dress and location.
Angelica has suffered much sorrow with the deaths of her children. She becomes emotionally attached to Juliet despite having to leave her husband. Her grief for those children and love for Juliet are very apparent throughout the book. She dares to defy Lord and Lady Cappelletti to protect Juliet.
Juliet’s cousin, Tybalt, was a mischievous little boy when Angelica came to the household and she began to love him as her own. Tybalt is a strong character that has a heartwarming impact on Angelica and Juliet. All of the characters are very believable for their time. It was normal for a wet-nurse to be hired to care for the baby while the mother attended to other duties.
The town Friar plays a big part in the tale even though it’s unsettling for this religious man to be so greedy and sneaky. There is something that Angelica accuses the Friar of but he denies it to the very end. In her heart, she knows that he’s lying. This is something that the readers can decide on who they believe.
I like historical fiction and would like to read more from Lois Leveen.
An enthralling new telling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet—told from the perspective of Juliet’s nurse.
In 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 family.
By 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 heart.
In 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.