Escape From Verona Romeo & Juliet Part 2

October 19, 2011

Escape From Verona  Romeo & Juliet Part 2:
The Lost Diary of Juliet Montague
By: David Gray
496 Pages

What if Romeo & Juliet didn't really die in the tomb? What if they faked their death and escaped Verona in order to be together? How would they do it? Would they be able to do it? Can they escape their enemies before lies, false accusations, and murder are charges Romeo and Juliet are forced punished for?

*** I must preface this review with a confession: I have NEVER read anything by Shakespeare- including Romeo & Juliet. ***

Escape From Verona literally picks up where Shakespeare left off. The story begins with Romeo and Juliet in the tomb. Juliet awakens from the potion she took and is about to kill herself when she realizes that Romeo is not dead, but under the influence of the same potion Juliet took. From here she smears Paris's blood on herself and stages her own stabbing. Under the darkness of the night, Juliet smuggles herself and a deeply sleeping Romeo out of the tomb and out of the graveyard. However, they don't go unnoticed. A night watchmen comes upon them and Juliet leads him to think she is a witch, sending the watchmen to run in fright to report this. And here starts her charges of witchcraft.

Juliet manages to get them out of the city, but life is never the same again. Romeo & Juliet are now on the run for peace- and their lives. A cat and mouse game is soon begun between them and Ugo. Not born of noble birth, Ugo wants all that nobility gives, and isn't afraid to do the dirty work he has to do. He has quickly figured out that capturing the two lovers is key, and sets forth to manipulate everyone he can to his advantage.

While Rome and Juliet are running through the forests and country side trying to get out of Verona, Ugo is one step behind them staging murderous scenes. Ugo kills several and carves RM into the bodies so it looks as though Romeo is a murderer. Eventually Ugo manages to get ahead of them, all the while watching and waiting their every move.

I enjoyed this book very much. I worried that I may have trouble since I've never read the original Romeo and Juliet, but you are given all the information you need at the very beginning. The story of this book is every bit as good as the actual story itself. The original manuscript for parts of this book were buried within a house's walls centuries ago. David Gray tells you which parts are from the manuscript and which parts he adds. 

I loved that Othello makes more than one appearance in the book. There could have been other Shakespeare characters in here as well, but I only recognized Othello's. I loved how he's introduced and the role he plays in the book. His storyline, though brief, was thoroughly enjoyable.

The one aspect I struggled with was the missing romance factor. I found very little romance between Romeo and Juliet in this book. For being a legendary story, and for having gone to such extremes to be together, I would have thought there would be more time dedicated to that love. For a time in the beginning Romeo came off as impatient with Juliet. He seemed to have little tolerance for how hard everything was on her. While I understand the situation didn't call for a lot of a peaceful "honeymoon", I would've thought his attitude could have been slightly different. For about the first half of the book it seemed that Juliet was the smarter of the two, but that changed in the second half of the book.

This book is a good read. Fans of the legendary couple may or may not like it. You don't get a lot of the romance factor that made these two characters so famous. However, you do go on one hell of an adventure with the two. I wish there was more of a romance storyline, but there is a reason there isn't.

Rating: But It- I'd buy it if it were in the bargain section./Borrow From The Library


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