I’ve never read Tristan and Isolde, so it’s understandable that I’m not really certain if I want to read the retelling, Izzy and Tristan by Shannon Dunlap. I feel weird about the idea of reading this story before the original and, in all honesty, I never really had any interest in reading the original in the first place. This has little to do with the story itself as a whole and more to do with the fact that I know very little about it and it has barely ever managed to find a way to my radar. I was aware of it, sure, and mainly because of the movie that came out when I was a kid, but it was never something where the thought had occurred to me that I might want to read it or even that it was a book in the first place. So, while I’m vaguely curious about Izzy and Tristan, that curiosity only goes so far. Plus, this is a contemporary novel and we all, I’m sure, know quite well at this point how I feel about those types of books.
A story about a young girl, Izzy, who moves to Brooklyn, rather against her will, whose dream is to become a doctor and the chess prodigy, Tristan, that she meets beneath the moonlight one night. And slowly, of course, they fall in love. The synopsis doesn’t give a whole lot more than that, I think because it is trying to rely on its readers’ understanding of the original story. Personally, I find that to be a dangerous idea because it’s a little presumptuous to assume that nearly everyone is already aware of how the original story goes, but that’s me. As for now, Izzy and Tristan is tentatively on my TBR, and we’ll see if I actually get to it. I still think I have to familiarize myself with the original story first.
Izzy, a practical-minded teen who intends to become a doctor, isn’t happy about her recent move from the Lower East Side across the river to Brooklyn. She feels distanced from her family, especially her increasingly incomprehensible twin brother, as well as her new neighborhood.
And then she meets Tristan.
Tristan is a chess prodigy who lives with his aunt and looks up to his cousin, Marcus. He and Izzy meet one moonlit night, and together they tumble into a story as old and unstoppable as love itself.
In debut author Shannon Dunlap’s capable hands, the romance that has enthralled for 800 years is spun new. Told from several points of view, this is a love story for the ages and a love story for this very moment. This fast-paced novel is at once a gripping tale of first love and a sprawling epic about the bonds that tie us together and pull us apart and the different cultures and tensions that fill the contemporary American landscape.
And how about you? How do you feel about this story so far? Is it one that you might read? A book you’d rather not read? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments! And happy reading!