Julie Roseman and Romeo Cacciamani know a thing or two about good fortune. For generations, their families were rival florists and bitter enemies. Then Julie and Romeo met by chance, just as each became single again. Even more miraculous, they fell in love.
Three years later, Julie and Romeo are still blissfully happy. They don't often get a quiet moment alone, and rarely manage a night -- quiet or otherwise -- in the same bed, but Julie feels blessed by what they do have: true love, wonderful jobs, and houses packed to the rafters with family. Romeo's ninety-three-year-old mother, his son Alan, Alan's wife and their three children live with him; Julie's daughter Sandy and her family -- including Sandy's Willy Wonka-obsessed daughter, Sarah, and their cat -- live with her. The odds of Julie and Romeo getting a few days of peace together seem about as likely as winning the lottery.
But their wish comes true -- with a twist -- when an injury puts Romeo flat on his back in Julie's room. Spending days in bed may sound heavenly, but with Romeo on pain pills, initially as comatose as Juliet in her tomb, the reality is less romantic. Then Julie's other daughter, Nora, drops her own crisis on her mother's doorstep. Now Julie has to figure out how to run two flower shops, take care of an ever-expanding household, nurse her beloved Romeo back to health, tackle Sarah's fixation with lottery tickets, and keep her daughters from regressing into full-scale teenage bickering. And Lady Luck has one more surprise in store....
Wonderfully witty and unerringly wise, Julie and Romeo Get Lucky is a smart, heartwarming story of timeless love and family loyalty, and a reminder that if you suddenly get everything you ever wished for, the only thing to do is live happily ever after.
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May 24, 2005
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Excerpt from Julie and Romeo Get Lucky by Jeanne Ray
I HEARD THE CANDYMAN'S VOICE AS SOON AS I opened the door.
"Who can make the sun shine?" he asked.
Romeo leaned in close to me, whispered against the back of my neck, "He's in there."
It was October in Somerville, Massachusetts, and fall was whipping around us with flat orange leaves cutting through the cool orange light of late afternoon. I was going into my house with the man that I loved, that man I was too old to call my boyfriend and too square to call my lover. The man I thought of always as my good fortune, Romeo.
But the Candyman stopped me cold. It was a visceral reaction. Every time I heard him, I wanted to run screaming down the street.
"Sprinkle it with dew," the Candyman sang.
I closed my eyes and panted a little, a technique I used to help quell nausea. The thought of all that candy--which had seemed like such a charming childhood fantasy, when I first saw the movie in 1971--now left me feeling like a six-year-old at ten o'clock on Halloween night. But it wasn't just the candy, it was the movie itself: the insipid singing, the cheesy sets, the tired diatribe of rich and poor and good and evil. Even Willie Wonka, who had once seemed so charming in all his twinkling subversiveness, now made me queasy?because anyone will make you queasy after you watch him eat a teacup for the sixth thousandth time. According to my sloppy calculations, that was approximately how many times my granddaughter Sarah had watched Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in my house.