The International Bestseller
“Lois Leveen’s richly detailed, fascinating novel offers a wholly original and intriguing take on one of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays” (New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini).
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.
"Lois Leveen's richly detailed, fascinating novel offers a wholly original and intriguing take on one of Shakespeare's most beloved plays through the imagined life of Juliet's faithful nurse, whose secret loves and tragedies rival the young lovers' own."--Jennifer Chiaverini, author of Mrs. Lincoln's Rival "With the largest number of lines in Shakespeare's play after the two lovers, wet nurse Angelica takes center stage in Leveen's (The Secrets of Mary Bowser, 2012) second novel, which begins 14 years before the fateful five days spanned by the drama... Leveen's enthusiastic historical novel pushes the classic teenage romance aside to give greater weight to a mother's love and losses."--Kirkus Reviews "Wise, thoughtful, and utterly irresistible. A powerful story not just of youth seduced by love and destruction, but also of maturity left to pick up what is left and carry on."--Eva Stachniak, Internationally bestselling author of The Winter Palace and Empress of the Night "Clever, fast-paced, well-researched and beautifully written. Convincing historical details are sprinkled throughout, provoking in the reader the sense of how it must have been in the 14th century. I loved it."--Roberta Rich, Internationally bestselling author of The Midwife of Venice and The Harem Midwife "Lois Leveen's Juliet's Nurse is an engrossing and never-before-seen glimpse into life in Shakespeare's 'fair Verona.' With sumptuous language, well-researched period detail, and a cast of compelling characters, Leveen weaves a world in which love and deception lurk on every page and around every corner. Treat yourself to this new and richly imagined version of literature's most cherished and tragic love story."--Allison Pataki, New York Times Bestselling Author of THE TRAITOR'S WIFE "A beautifully written and sometimes chilling novel that's deliciously sensual and fittingly dark. Juliet's Nurse not only seems true to the classic but illuminates it. I couldn't stop reading. "--Arthur L. Little, Jr., UCLA professor and author of Shakespeare Jungle Fever