K.D. Absolutely's Reviews > Letters to Juliet: Celebrating Shakespeare's Greatest Heroine, the Magical City of Verona, and the Power of Love

Letters to Juliet by Lise Friedman
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's review
Nov 19, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: travel
Recommended to K.D. by: No one
Recommended for: Romeo and Juliet fans
Read from October 20 to November 19, 2010 — I own a copy , read count: 1

Fine. I have to admit that the cover picture of Mama Mia's daughter, the beautiful Amanda Seyfried was the one who caught my eyes while walking around the bookstore. All my friends - girls, gays -and their men, who saw that ABBA movie liked Amanda especially in the opening wharf scene with her singing "I have a dream/a song to sing/to help me cope with anything" in dark starry night with moon and starlights reflecting and bouncing on the small waves.

Reading the blurb, saying that this book has something to do with Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, made me want to buy it. Also, the book looks cool: glossy with all those colorful pictures of the country I almost had the chance to visit twice, Italy. Twice I was invited. Twice I missed it because of not enough time to process my visa. I even attended Basic Italian class in 2006. Now I have to content myself looking at the pictures of Italy. Oh maybe someday, who knows?

Anyway, the book's cover says "The story of the letter-writing phenomenon that inspired the idea behind the motion picture Letter to Juliet". So this book was neither novelized from movie nor the movie was made from this book. This is actually a non-fiction book telling the actual story behind all those people who over decades have been responding to letters coming from everywhere around the globe. Letters, mostly love-related, addressed to the Shakespeare heroine, Juliet.

First was just businessman Solimani who took fancy in responding to letters left in Juliet's tomb in Verona. He was the custodian of Juliet's (make-believe) tomb. When he became overaged, a retired professor, Beltramini took over. When he died, female secretaries were hired. As of this writing, there are 6 of them and they sign their responses, Juliet or Giulietta (if they write in Juliet's native language).

If you love Romeo and Juliet, read this book. It has the story behind that famous Shakespeare play. It tells about the play's predecessors. Showing that the idea of ill-fated lovers was not actually Shakespeare's original concept. You will also like the sample letters. Most of them are cheesy but sweet, like this:
"I asked myself many times, how it is that we fall in love: do we trip, lose our balance and fall, scraping our hearts? Do we crash to the ground, on stones? Or it is like staying on the edge of a precipice for all time? (from) Poland"
This book also shows the now tourist-destination places in Verona because of this play: not only Juliet and Romeo's tombs but also their homes, places where famous scenes happened in the play, it even has the recipe for Juliet's cookies (how I wish I know how to bake) and even Juliet's statue whose breasts visiting tourist fondle supposedly for good luck.

*Sigh* Oh maybe someday. Who knows?
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Reading Progress

10/20/2010 page 20
11.0% "Looks like an easy weekend read."

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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rosesamongthorns I hope this one is good. The film adaptation sucks! (in my opinion). Masyadong cheesy!

K.D. Absolutely Ace gave this to me last night. Gift daw nya. So, cheesy or not, I will read this. I like the girl in Mama Mia. Nice singing voice. Ha ha

message 3: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia I agree with Rose. The movie is horrible. Amanda Syfried is a wonderful actress though she needs help choosing roles.

message 4: by Regine (new)

Regine I agree. She's in a rut with her role selections, but I did love her in Mama Mia, and as the ditzy girl in Mean Girls.

message 5: by Teresa (new)

Teresa I hope you get to go someday, K.D.! I was lucky enough to go to Italy for 2 weeks, summer of 2009. My husband had work in Sardinia the first week and the 2nd week we spent in Rome. It was a wonderful trip!

K.D. Absolutely Thanks for the vote T. Yes, I keep on dreaming!

message 7: by Joyzi (new) - added it

Joyzi I haven't watch Letters to Juliet or Mama Mia but I've watch dear john, jennifer's body and mean girls I think she's an okay actress, not great but decent in acting

message 8: by Joyzi (new) - added it

Joyzi Oh I just saw her new movie trailer Red Riding Hood and I lol when "from the directors of twilight" came on screen

K.D. Absolutely Thank you for the like, Joyzi. From the director of Twilight? Forget about it then. I liked Twilight as a book but not the movies.

message 10: by Joyzi (new) - added it

Joyzi Yeah the movie was a bit Idk weird though maybe because it is from directors of Twilight lol

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