Tuesday, October 30

Book Review: The Juliet Stories

Title: The Juliet Stories

Author: Carrie Snyder

Pages: 324

Summary: Juliet Friesen is ten years old when her family moves to Nicaragua. It is 1984, the height of Nicaragua's post-revolutionary war, and the peace-activist Friesens have come to protest American involvement. In the midst of this tumult, Juliet's family lives outside of the boundaries of ordinary life. They've escaped, and the ordinary rules don't apply. Threat is pervasive, danger is real, but the extremity of the situation also produces a kind of euphoria, protecting Juliet's family from its own cracks and conflicts.

When Juliet's younger brother becomes sick with cancer, their adventure ends abruptly. The Friesens return to Canada only to find that their lives beyond Nicaragua have become the war zone. One by one, they drift from each other, and Juliet grows to adulthood, pulled between her desire to live a free life like the one she remembers in Nicaragua, and her desire to build for her own children a life more settled than her parents could provide.

My Rating: 8.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I enjoyed this book quite a lot. Although it was a book of interconnected short stories, it all flows together well.  While it doesn't completely flow together in the same way a novel does, you still get the effect of the full story you would see from a novel. Well developed characters and plot were both throughout the book, and neither were sacrificed because the story was told like a collection of short stories. In fact, I think it added to the story itself, and how much I enjoyed it because it was told like a collection of interconnected stories, rather than a novel, because although there are gaps between stories, the author managed to fill them in quite nicely.

Juliet was an interesting character, who was well created and developed. I really enjoyed being able to follow her from a young girl through to adulthood, and how the events in Nicaragua and in Canada shaped her as an adult. I don't think the reader would have had the same experience with Juliet and her development if it weren't written like a collection of interconnected short stories.

Very enjoyable read, I hope to see more from the author in the future, as I will definitely be seeking out more books by her.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, it was a well written, collection of connected short stories. But still read like a novel. So those who like both types of fiction would enjoy it.

What to read next: Who Do You Think You Are?


  1. Sounds like a nice collection of short stories. I don't usually read them but since this one reads like a serial novel, I might enjoy it.

    1. It does read more like a novel, so I think you would likely enjoy it. Maybe it will get you addicted to short stories.

  2. This is one of my favourite books from this reading year; I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed it too. Have you found a copy of her Hair Hat? It's pretty great, too, although you might miss Juliet.

    1. I have not, but it sounds like I may have to. That may be a read I seek out next year. It was a very good book, I wasn't sure I'd like it at first, but it ended up being a good read. I'll have to make sure I add Hair Hat to my list now. I blame you.