Juliet’s Answer: One Man’s Search for Love and the Elusive Cure for Heartbreak is the heartwarming account of Glenn Dixon‘s struggles in relationships and his search for love. This memoir will be featured at the 2017-18 Grimsby Author Series, in the fall, and I look forward to meeting the author who bravely quit his job and travelled to Verona in search of himself and yearning for love.
Glenn was a highschool teacher. He had a passion for Romeo and Juliet and was striving to engage a group of unique students to learn from this Shakespearean play. He created interest and through readings, enactments and even a mock court case as the class discussed the play and the fate of star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. Each of the students gained insight from the class discussions into their own struggles.
Glenn had travelled to Verona the previous summer and volunteered as Juliet’s secretary at the Juliet Club. Letter writers from around to world write to Juliet hoping for answers about love and relationships. These epistles come in many languages and a volunteer group of secretaries write back to the if there is a return address.
“The Juliet Club has been handling Juliet’s mail for many years; this unique phenomenon has made Verona the world-wide known “capital of love”. Addressed to “Juliet, Verona” thousands of letters arrive from all over the world and our team of volunteers replies to each and every one of them in the name of the most famous heroine in literature keeping alive this extraordinary epistolary tradition”. (Juliet Club website)
Once Glen realized that he would never have a relationship with the woman he loved he quit his teaching job and headed back to Verona for a fresh start. In Verona, he learned about himself as he reflected on the content of the letters and the responses he was writing. He also described Verona in a way that makes the reader want to pack their bags and explore!
Juliet’s Answer is a memoir to enjoy and inspired me to search for more information about the Juliet Club. According to the club’s website, thousands of letters have been received since the 1930s and each letter is carefully read, translated and a response sent. The letters are kept in a special archive. Travellers can volunteer for one day or more, returning letters to those looking for love.
After listening to the audio version of the book, I was disappointed to learn that the narrator was not the author. It was well told but would have been more authentic if the experiences were shared by Glenn himself. If readers are looking for more information, Glenn’s website hosts many pictures of Verona including the statue of Juliet.
My daughter will likely be reading Romeo and Juliet in grade 9 and I may have to reread the play as she studies it. Juliet’s Answer has also inspired me to investigate the offerings at Stratford and Romeo and Juliet will be featured this summer. I sure hope that my daughter has a teacher who shares Glenn’s enthusiasm for Romeo and Juliet and I am looking forward to meeting the him at he Grimsby Author Series event.