Book Club Meeting
Roméo & Juliette
Music by Charles Gounod, Libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré
Reading: January 22, 2024 – February 22, 2024
Meeting: February 22, 2024 at 7 PM MST | Zoom Meeting Link
Gounod's romantic and rapturous music sets the stage for this tale of star-crossed lovers, based on Shakespeare’s play about the feuding Montague and Capulet families in Verona.
Roméo Montague and his friend Mercutio don masks to sneak into the Capulet’s ball, where Juliette Capulet has been presented to the party guests. Roméo falls instantly in love with Juliette, who fervently loves him back despite being pledged to marry Count Parîs. Juliette’s cousin Tybalt recognizes Roméo as he shares a tender moment with Juliette, but is prevented from attacking as Roméo and his friends flee.
Roméo and Juliette affirm their forever love in the iconic balcony scene. Outside the Capulet palace, Roméo breaks up a fight between Mercutio and Tybalt, asking him to forgive the feud between families. With nothing but scorn, Tybalt kills Mercutio and Roméo stabs Tybalt. Knowing their families will never get along, Roméo and Juliette plan to fake their deaths in a desperate attempt to be together, culminating in an ending for these lovers that is as tragic as it is heartbreakingly beautiful.
Featured Book Selection:
Juliet's Nurse by Lois Leveen
In Verona, a city ravaged by plague and political rivalries, a mother mourning the death of her day-old infant enters the household of the powerful Cappelletti family to become the wet-nurse to their newborn baby. As she serves her beloved Juliet over the next fourteen years, the nurse learns the Cappellettis’ darkest secrets. Those secrets—and the nurse’s deep personal grief—erupt across five momentous days of love and loss that destroy a daughter, and a family.
By turns sensual, tragic, and comic, Juliet’s Nurse gives voice to one of literature’s most memorable and distinctive characters, a woman who was both insider and outsider among Verona’s wealthy ruling class. Exploring the romance and intrigue of interwoven loyalties, rivalries, jealousies, and losses only hinted at in Shakespeare’s play, this is a never-before-heard tale of the deepest love in Verona—the love between a grieving woman and the precious child of her heart.
In the tradition of Sarah Dunant, Philippa Gregory, and Geraldine Brooks, Juliet’s Nurse is a rich prequel that reimagines the world’s most cherished tale of love and loss, suffering and survival.