Synopses & Reviews
Juno and Juliet Taylor are twin sisters heading off together to the University of County Galway. Its the Irish girls' first time away from home, and theyre looking forward to exploring much more than the library, learning much more than what the books will teach them. With the delightful ease and charm of a young Roddy Doyle, Julian Gough takes them off to a first year of college worthy of a twenty-first century Jane Austen novel.
Juliet, our narrator, is both adoring and envious of her identical twin, whom she considers the more beautiful, not to mention more clever and more charming, sister. When the college boys and a certain handsome grad student begin dropping at Junos feet (as usual, her sister assures us), Juliet becomes determined not to be outdone.
And so Juno and Juliet begin a hilariously raucous and dramatic semester, full of well-versed suitors and lively literary seminars. But soon their competitive amorous and academic pursuits lead them beyond innocent flirtations, and life becomes extravagantly complicated perhaps too much so for the irrepressible Taylor twins to handle on their own.
Juno & Juliet is a page-turner of a novel, full of laughs and optimistic wisdom. It is a novel about how happily astonishing ordinary life can be, how epic everyday events can feel, how the loves and passions pursued the most fervently can lead to the situations and feelings were least prepared for. And it is a novel that introduces Julian Gough as Irelands newest fresh and irresistible voice.
"[A] winning debut novel....Gough's novel is a genuine and generous portrayal of a place and its inhabitants, and with it he takes his place as part of a younger generation of comedic Irish novelists...who are becoming better known on these shores." Publishers Weekly
"The novel teems with interesting characters, most notably Juliet herself, who mixes sarcastic wit and more sentimentality than she would ever admit....[S]he is impossible not to love. The same is true of Gough's excellent debut." Kristine Huntley, Booklist
"Julian Gough has written a first novel that's full of sardonic yet good-humored riffs....As a narrator, Juliet is consistently, agreeably flippant, and from time to time comes across with a truly memorable line....Juno & Juliet, with all its adolescent ironies, still manages to be intelligent, lighthearted, and thoroughly entertaining." William Ferguson, The New York Times Book Review
"Clever, engaging and well-written....A witty novel that offers romance, heartache and insightful psychological observations." Chicago Tribune
"Hugely entertaining....Gough has created an unforgettable narrator in Juliet Taylor: Through her smart, sensitive gaze, ordinary events take on an almost epic quality." Vogue
"[S]hort on plot but strong on emotion....Struggling to separate herself from the more popular Juno, Juliet comes across insecure and self-absorbed, which may turn some readers off. Yet she is subtly appealing and keeps your attention." Library Journal
"A dazzling defense of joy....Gough is clearly in love with his characters....[His] Ireland is a place you pine for, a place you cant wait to visit....Gough is like Roddy Doyle in an extremely good mood." The Washington Post Book World
With this irresistibly fresh debut about a set of twins in their first year of college in Ireland, Julian Gough ("Roddy Doyle in an extremely good mood." —The Washington Post Book World
) has established himself as Ireland's most delightful new voice in fiction.
Juno and Juliet Taylor are both beautiful blondes, but Juliet is convinced that Juno is the more beautiful, as well as the more intelligent, charming, worldly, and wise. Yet neither feels any sense of rivalry, which is good, given that their freshman year turns out to be more than either could handle alone. Juno has an erratic artist for a boyfriend and is stalked by a pervert who sends anonymous letters. And Juliet is in love with her grad-student tutor, who is stymied by her youth and preoccupied with his dying father. Hilarious and tender, ribald and smart, Juno & Juliet is a refreshing romp with two sisters whose love and devotion are infectious.
About the Author
Julian Gough wrote Juno & Juliet to help him recover from a devastating broken heart. He is founder of the underground rock band Toasted Heretic and is renowned in Ireland for his sardonic wit in print and on television. He lives in Galway.