Synopses & Reviews
Shakespeare's classic retold from another perspective
Rosaline won't let anyone or anything get in the way of her future as a healer. That is, until she meets Benvolio. Where Romeo's words had been hollow and unfounded, Benvolio's are filled with sincerity and true love. Now Rosaline finds herself caught between her feelings, her ambition, and her family's long-standing feud with the Montagues.
When Romeo turns his affections toward Ros's cousin, Juliet, their relationship brings the feud of the two houses to a new level. Rosaline and Benvolio hatch a plan to bring peace to the two families. But will they succeed?
"Having told Hamlet's story from Ophelia's point of view in her Dating Hamlet, Fiedler here cleverly retells Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet from the perspective of 15-year-old Lady Rosaline, Juliet's cousin. Strong and smart Rosaline, who is training to be a healer, catches Romeo's eye when the young Montague brings to her his wounded friend for treatment. But when romantic Romeo meets innocent Juliet at the fateful Capulet costume fete, they are instantly infatuated; despite the fact that 'Montagues spit upon Capulets, and Capulets, in turn, hurl stones at Montagues,' they secretly marry, which of course leads to terrible tragedy. This is Rosaline's story, but other characters narrate, including kind Benvolio (a Montague), who loves Rosaline, and even her cousin Tybalt, who as a ghost is able to provide narration of scenes just between Romeo and Juliet. There are so many humorous touches in this retelling: the wounded friend whom Romeo first brings to Rosaline is Petruchio, whose name Bard fans will recognize from The Taming of the Shrew, for example. The author shares Shakespeare's love of wordplay; she uses lines from his original text, and waxes memorable lines of her own ('Tis not thou...'tis I,' says Rosaline as she rejects Romeo). The author modernizes the message here, too, making Romeo and Juliet's suicides seem more foolish than poetic: When Rosaline hears of Juliet's plan to kill herself, she tells her young cousin that 'There is nothing mighty in quitting life'; later she tells a distraught Romeo, 'You settled for desire, but did not allow time for love.' This novel manages to be both witty and multilayered, leaving readers with plenty to ponder. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Lisa Fiedler is the author of a number of popular young adult novels, and this is her second retelling of a Shakespearean story from the female point of view. She lives in Connecticut with her family.