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Novel looks at ex's life after Romeo

June 26, 2007|By SHOVAL RESNICK

William Shakespeare's classic tale "Romeo and Juliet" comes alive in "Romeo's Ex: Rosaline's Story," a novel by Lisa Fiedler. The story takes a new look at the tragic love story through the eyes of different people, including Rosaline, the girl Romeo pines for at the beginning of Shakespeare's play.

Rosaline wishes only to be a healer. Through her journey to achieve her goal - combined with the emotions and events that stall or even drive her to momentarily lose sight of the dream - the story of Romeo and Juliet is told. The two stories intertwine to renew the awe of the original Shakespearean play while making it a tale of its own.

Much as Gregory Maguire did in "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West," Fiedler adds to the existing tale to make it stand alone.

In "Romeo's Ex: Rosaline's Story," the tale is not focused on Romeo and Juliet. Instead, the opinions of the surrounding persons on the life, love, marriage and death of the two are shown. Romeo, his cousin Benvolio and best friend Mercutio, Juliet's cousin Tybalt and Rosaline each speak for themselves.

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Each of the five voices bring a greater reality to the story through discussion of the expectations of the times, the right and wrong of the suicides, the naivety and ignorance of the characters, and the confusion that is love.

Fiedler stays true to the story by using Old English and inserting quotes from the play itself.

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