on 14 August 2001
This book was recommended to me by a couple of members of an online list to which I belong. I found it an easy-going, entertaining read. Ideal for the beach, the bus or the train when you don't want to concentrate too hard. On the whole it was very well written and the characters were sympathetic and made me want to become involved in their story. There were a couple of occasions when I had to press my suspension of disbelief button really hard - sometimes the attitude of the children to their mother did not entirely ring true and seemed more like a plot device rather than what might happen in a real situation. I also lost my belief in the scene with grandma and the roses - would her grandsons really stand by and let a ninety year old woman do all that work? I think not. The above nit-picks are the reason for the 4 stars instead of 5. This theme of an older Romeo and Juliet has been done before in Angela Lambert's Kiss and Kin which won the 1998 Romantic Novel of the Year Award. Lambert's style is more serious and literary, but I definitely prefer Jeanne Ray's version! An enjoyable handbag read.
There's a flower vendetta in Somerville. For years, the Rosemans and Cacciamanis have each owned a single florist shop in this Boston burb. The intensity of the rivalry and loathing between the two families would bring nods of empathy from warring drug kingpins. Then, Julie Roseman, divorced, meets Romeo Cacciamani, widowed, at a seminar for the owners of failing small businesses, and love blossoms like orchids in a hothouse. My, my. How will the children of each, raised on a steady diet of hatred for the other camp, react?
JULIE AND ROMEO is nurse Jeanne Ray's first novel. The plot is uncomplicated and the ending fairly predictable, perhaps even too pat, so it's not a heavyweight in the genre. But, it is charming, humorous, cute and even a bit clever. As an author's first offering, it's more than commendable - and Jeanne, if she sticks with writing, can only improve.
There are two features of this book which made it notable for me. First, Julie and Romeo are both aged sixty. It's refreshing to read a storyline wherein amour and heavy breathing aren't limited to the under-30 set. (Bravo, Ms. Ray, for reminding us of that.) Second, the volume is a quick read. For someone like myself with too many books and too little time, that's a big plus!
on 19 December 2002
Julie and Romeo is a great read. Basically it brings us the classic Romeo and Juliet storyline to the new millennium. Julie and Romeo are now flower shop owners and have definetly aged. But it's very funny to read how they meet and fall in love, despite what their families think. But will they get a happy ending? Well, I'm not going to tell you, you have to read it for yourself.