Sunday, September 18, 2011

Review: Escape From Verona

Title: Escape From Verona
Author: David Gray
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance

Escape From Verona, Juliet's long-lost diary, begins where Shakespeare leaves off, explaining how she and Romeo fake their deaths and escape from the Capulet family tomb. Their escape does not bring peace to Verona. They are accused of murder and witchcraft and are hunted by powerful forces, including the Papacy and the Venetian government.

Their adventures require not only eluding capture, but they must also learn what it means to love one another without the backdrop of their family feud. What sacrifices are required for a well-bred young woman and a proud young swordsman to survive together? Is heedless passion enough to make their marriage last?

As the lovers flee across northeast Italy they encounter many other characters made famous in Shakespeare's plays, Petruchio, Shylock, Desdemona and Othello among them. Their efforts are further aided by many of the artists of the late Renaissance, including Palladio, Tintoretto, Veronese and Titian. --Goodreads

When I first picked up Escape From Verona, I admit that I was one nervous reader. This was due in part because Romeo and Juliet is my all-time favorite Shakespeare play. And I’m a huge Shakespeare geek. I own his entire collection (as well as a lot of double copies because I like to collect some just strictly for the covers or editions). So, going into this story I was nervous to see how it would play out. How well the characters would continue on AFTER. And it astounded me.

The amount of detail and research that was put into this novel was phenomenal and so well-crafted. I read through this with such ease and I thoroughly loved every bit of it. To see things with Romeo and Juliet, a life between the couple on the run after faked suicides was excellent. I can honestly say that if Shakespeare were alive today, I think he’d be very proud if he read this.

Romeo was a bit annoying to be honest. Haha! And I felt that the brief sex scenes (though few and far in between) weren’t really all the necessary and didn’t HAVE to be included or detailed but that’s just my opinion. But I really liked how the characters were developed for the readers. We see some interesting sides to them all. I loved the inclusion of characters from other plays!

I definitely recommend this if you’re a Shakespeare fan. Especially if you like Romeo and Juliet. I know I’ll probably be rereading this one!

4.5 stars!




  1. I'm a little surprised that Romeo was annoying! (and this is a generalization) but, especially since it's written by a guy.

  2. sounds interesting. I wonder if Shakespeare would approve. You know how some writers can be with their work ha ha. I'm not sure how a book based on fictional characters gets classified as historical fiction, but either way it sounds like it could be a very good read.

  3. @Shanella I know, I was surprised too.. but I think it was because the way his personality was portrayed as a character. I can understand though that the author wanted to be authentic to the time period since a lot of men acted a bit "superior" back in the day. Lol. It was just annoying at times when I was reading it. Haha. But it was really good overall anyway. :)

    @Chris Like I said in the review, I think Shakespeare would approve if he was alive today and read it! :) It was a good piece with the use of characters. As for the classification of historical fiction, perhaps it is "fictional characters" but it is real places, some real people- and if you didn't know, Shakespeare originally wrote Romeo and Juliet based on a supposed real couple in legend dating back to the 14th century from Verona named Romeus and Juliet. And that is why I believed it gets easily classified into historical fiction.

  4. Thank you all for giving it this much thought! Apparently my "inner child" is a 13 year old girl (which is fairly creepy I suppose) but if you ask any 13 year old girl they will tell you that 13 year old boys can be annoying, even if you are married to them.

    As to the history... well yes, the Shakespeare characters are not "real," although if you go to Italy they will show you where these folks supposedly worked and lived (it's really amusing actually). The artists and political figures are indeed "real" and I made them as accurate as I could... as an example, the painter Tintoretto really did make his daughter dress as a boy when working in the studio... and it was great fun to learn the idiosyncrasies of the then reigning Pope, etc... even the Turkish Ambassador is real... Anyway, thank you all for reading and thinking about all this. I truly appreciate your interest.
    David Gray

  5. Hello Mr. Gray!
    Thank you so much for taking the time to come by my blog for a visit and leaving a comment. :) I thoroughly enjoyed Escape From Verona and I hope to read future work from you again!


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