A Creative Take on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
A Daughter of Fair Verona Book Cover A Daughter of Fair Verona
Daughter of Montague
Christina Dodd
Romantic Comedy, Romantic Suspense
A John Scognamiglio Book
June 25, 2024
Ebook, Audiobook, Hardcover

I’m the eldest daughter of Romeo and Juliet. Yes, that Romeo and Juliet. No, they didn’t die in the tomb. They’re alive and well and living in fair Verona with their six wildly impetuous children and me, their nineteen-year-old daughter Rosaline…

Knives Out meets Bridgerton in Fair Verona, as New York Times bestselling author Christina Dodd kicks off a frothy, irreverent, witty new series with an irresistible premise—told from the delightfully engaging point of view of Romeo and Juliet’s clever, rebellious, fiercely independent daughter, Rosie Montague.

“Fun, funny, charming, and absolutely delightful. If you’re looking for a novel to sweep you away and lift your spirits, look no further.” – KRISTIN HANNAH, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Once upon a time a young couple met and fell in love. You probably know that story, and how it ended (hint: badly). Only here’s the thing: That’s not how it ended at all.

Romeo and Juliet are alive and well and the parents of seven kids. I’m the oldest, with the emphasis on ‘old’—a certified spinster at twenty, and happy to stay that way. It’s not easy to keep your taste for romance with parents like mine. Picture it—constant monologues, passionate declarations, fighting, making up, making out . . . it’s exhausting.

Each time they’ve presented me with a betrothal, I’ve set out to find the groom-to-be a more suitable bride. After all, someone sensible needs to stay home and manage this household. But their latest match, Duke Stephano, isn’t so easy to palm off on anyone else. The debaucher has had three previous wives—all of whom met unfortunate ends. Conscience forbids me from consigning another woman to that fate. As it turns out, I don’t have to . . .

At our betrothal ball—where, quite by accident, I meet a beautiful young man who makes me wonder if perhaps there is something to love at first sight—I stumble upon Duke Stephano with a dagger in his chest. But who killed him? His late wives’ families, his relatives, his mistress, his servants—half of Verona had motive. And when everyone around the Duke begins dying, disappearing, or descending into madness, I know I must uncover the killer . . . before death lies on me like an untimely frost.

Welcome, dear reader, to the story of Lady Rosaline.

Photo credit to Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash.com

Christina Dodd’s A Daughter of Fair Verona is a nod to Shakespeare in so many ways. It’s the story of Romeo and Juliet’s daughter, Rosaline. But wait, didn’t Romeo and Juliet die at the end of the tragic play? Well, not in Dodd’s version of the story. In it, we meet Lady Rosaline Montague, or Rosie, the pragmatic, clever, very non-romantic eldest daughter of one of the most famous poetry-quoting, dying-for-true-love couples in English literature.

When you have true love and wild passion and brokenhearted tragedy stuffed up your nose every day of your life…love and passion lose a little bit of their gilding.

The story is told from Rosie’s point of view. She frequently breaks the fourth wall and addresses the reader directly. A few times she even narrates in stage cues: “Enter stage left: Prince Escalus.” Reading it took me back to my undergraduate Shakespeare class as an English major. Rosie is both the heroine and the narrator of her own story. Dodd did a fantastic job writing this character with wit and wisdom. Many of Rosie’s quips are laugh-out-loud funny.

Another nod to Shakespeare’s plays is in the twist and turns of events throughout the plot. There is an arranged marriage, a dastardly villain, multiple murders, clandestine meetings on balconies and in gardens, and some great scenes with classic characters from Romeo and Juliet, like Nurse and Friar Lawrence. We meet Rosie just as these events begin. She succeeded to make it to nearly 20 years old without being married or falling in love. She has lived a quiet life of managing her family’s household and keeping drama and passion at bay. Yet in one night, all of that changes.

“Now I’m standing here holding a Roman candle; it’s going off in my hand and I don’t know where to throw it for fear of catching the world on fire.” I spoke pleadingly, asking for comfort. “Nurse, you know I’m the sensible one!”…

“Life has found you, Lady Rosie. You couldn’t hide from it forever.” Nurse had the nerve to sound amused.

A Daughter of Fair Verona is truly a witty and fresh story. I enjoyed reading it. Days later, though, I still can’t wrap my mind around the endings (and I say that in the plural because we have the end of the murders in Verona at about 75-80% into the book and then the final ending which ties the strings of the romance together). They both caught me completely off guard. I still can’t decide if it was in a good way. The identity of the mysterious murderer in particular seemed hard to grasp. It didn’t detract to my overall enjoyment of the book, however.

This is book one in Dodd’s new Daughter of Montague series. It sounds like more Shakespeare fan fiction is on the horizon for readers from this author. Don’t miss out!

This book was provided in exchance for an honest review graphic