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Juno and Juliet Taylor are twin sisters heading off together to the University of County Galway. It’s the Irish girls first time away from home, and they’re looking forward to exploring much more than the library, learning much more than what the books will teach them. With the delightful ease and charm of a young Roddy Doyle, Julian Gough takes them off to a first year of college worthy of a twenty-first century Jane Austen novel.
Juliet, our narrator, is both adoring and envious of her identical twin, whom she considers the more beautiful, not to mention more clever and more charming, sister. When the college boys – and a certain handsome grad student – begin dropping at Juno’s feet (as usual, her sister assures us), Juliet becomes determined not to be outdone.
And so Juno and Juliet begin a hilariously raucous and dramatic semester, full of well-versed suitors and lively literary seminars. But soon their competitive amorous and academic pursuits lead them beyond innocent flirtations, and life becomes extravagantly complicated – perhaps too much so for the irrepressible Taylor twins to handle on their own.
Juno & Juliet is a page-turner of a novel, full of laughs and optimistic wisdom. It is a novel about how happily astonishing ordinary life can be, how epic everyday events can feel, how the loves and passions pursued the most fervently can lead to the situations and feelings we’re least prepared for. And it is a novel that introduces Julian Gough as Ireland’s newest fresh and irresistible voice.
“Intelligent, lighthearted and thoroughly entertaining.” –The New York Times Book Review
“Clever, engaging and well-written. . . . A witty novel that offers romance, heartache and insightful psychological observations.” –Chicago Tribune
“Hugely entertaining. . . . Gough has created an unforgettable narrator in Juliet Taylor: Through her smart, sensitive gaze, ordinary events take on an almost epic quality.” –Vogue
“A dazzling defense of joy. . . . Gough is clearly in love with his characters. . . . [His] Ireland is a place you pine for, a place you can’t wait to visit. . . . Gough is like Roddy Doyle in an extremely good mood.” –The Washington Post Book World