After the death of the aunt who raised her and her twin sister, and finding out that the will was changed at the last minute leaving her nothing, Juliet Jacobs heads to Italy after reading a note left for her by her aunt. In the note she finds out that there is something in a safe deposit box there that once belonged to Juliet and Janice's mother, who was killed in a car crash in Italy when they were toddlers. Juliet heads off in search of it after finding out that her name isn't really Juliet Jacobs, but Giulietta Tolomei, her twin sisters being Gianozza Tolomei. Her aunt changed their names after she brought them to American fro their own safety. After arriving in Sienna, Giulietta is befriended by Eva Maria Salimbini, a member of a family that was the Tolomei's enemies years ago. As Giulietta struggles to figure out what her mother left behind she starts to unearth secrets about her only families past in the middle ages, and how they are tied to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Eventually working with Alessandro, Eva Maria's godson, her family in Sienna, a Maestro that swears Romeo still comes to visit him at night, and her twin who shows up unexpectedly, Giulietta starts to unravel the truth about her parents untimely death and her personal connection with one of literature's most haunting love stories. Alternating between the present day and Sienna in the Middle Ages, you sit back and watch as Giulietta's own story heads to an expected climax.
Sounds good doesn't it? Not so much. Giulietta is so incredibly naive I had to refrain from throwing the book across the room at times. Her twin is absolutely unbearable, Alessandro is a poorly written character, and there are so many minor players I was forgetting who was who. The transition between present day and the Middle Ages didn't flow that smoothly as to not be confusing. A novel packed full of superstition, secrets, lies and betrayals, I did not care what happened to one of the characters. The parts set in 1340 I loved, especially the story of the Palio in 1340, which gave me chills as I read it. But as a whole, I found it very disappointing.