Finding Juliet

Frank Sennett
Soft Touch Press , English

A modern-day Shakespeare in Love

Dearest Juliet,

Rather than kill myself, I have decided to pour my grief into a letter this night. Would only that you had done the same upon finding your lover dead with lips still warm and touched with poison.

As it is, you are not only fictional, but extinguished. I only hope your spirit paid no heed to these cruel tricks of paper fate, so that you might yet provide the comfort I seek.

I spill ink instead of blood because, although my true love lives, her love for me has died. I do not wish to compound my tragedy with desperate measures that would stir only contempt within her breast. As the target of my rejection has rejected me, any harm I do myself, I do only to myself. It is a lesson well learned before the act is done.

LIA CATTANEO never thought she’d be living back home in Verona, Italy, at 28. But here she is, hiding from the world and her philandering husband in her father Salvatore’s apartment for yet another day as she works up the courage to take an intensive cooking class she’s had her eye on. Lia admires her father’s sweet nature, but believes she’ll never find love again. The old widower watches his daughter strangle her shoulder-length raven ringlets with an elastic band as if daring the world to find her beauty. Yet he knows it will prove impossible to hide. Lia might briefly disguise her sharp mind with a sharper tongue, or even mar her radiant face with a scowl, but her loveliness is irrepressible. Even though it will mean losing her again, Salvatore can’t wait for the day happiness will find her and coax her joyous life force back into bloom.

NICK MOORE, a literature grad student at Southern Oregon University, home of the well-regarded Ashland Shakespeare Festival, meanwhile has written the above letter as a seminar assignment. Every year, the professor sends the best letter to Juliet’s Club in Verona, where volunteer scribes reply to letters addressed to Shakespeare’s Juliet. Nick has recently ended a long-term relationship, and he drew on this pain to craft his note.

Soon, Nick receives a reply so moving that it inspires him to meet the real woman behind it during Verona’s annual Juliet festival, setting in motion a series of events that leads to a dramatic, romantic and suitably Shakespearean climax on the festival’s closing day…

In addition to FINDING JULIET, author Frank Sennett has published eight books in the past decade decade, including the Nash Hansen mystery series for Gale/Five Star, Groupon’s Biggest Deal Ever (St. Martin’s Press) and five other nonfiction titles. Frank has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Montana.

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