The world's most famous love story told by one of Australia's most respected authors.
This is the well-known story of Juliet Capulet and her love for Romeo. It also the story about the increasing helplessness Juliet feels as she realises that unlike young men her age, her life will effectively be determined and controlled by others, who see her having an arranged marriage of alliance and becoming a breeder of sons.
I am Juliet closely follows the well-known and loved plot of the play, but we also see the point of view of Rob, the thirteen-year-old boy who is the first to play the role of Juliet on the Elizabethan stage.
Like many young people today, he too is overwhelmed by 'all those words' that Shakespeare wrote. But Rob realises that the story of love and tragedy is a somewhat simple one and the words are there for their extraordinary beauty and meaning.
He will be Juliet and let the power of the words sing - as they still do today.
Jackie French, in her typical fashion, has taken on a classic Shakespearean play, modernised it and placed it in context.
The story itself is wonderfully told, as seen through Juliet’s eyes, and this eternal love story will always evoke strong feelings.
But Jackie also provides about 30 extra pages at the end of the story, explaining much of the historical context in which Shakespeare wrote.
A marvellous contemporary retelling on its own, but also a helpful addition to those studying Romeo and Juliet.
With Juliet taking centre stage, and with the jacket, it may be hard to get boys to pick this one up although I found the story fascinating (but I might just be becoming an old softie).
Reviewed by Rob