Monthly Reading Inventory: October/November

by - November 15, 2017

I started "The Daughters of Palatine Hill" in October but did not finish it until mid-November. Don't take that as a sign not to read the book - a virus hit our house and then we had a week's worth of live-on-location shows, so my reading was pretty sporadic.

Historical fictions, especially those involving actual people, have always been some of my favorite reading. A few years ago I read a book about Cleopatra. It ended with her death, obviously. This book, while written by a different author, is almost like a sequel in that it follows the life of Cleopatra's daughter, Selene, after she is taken to Rome by Egypt's conqueror, Caesar Augustus. It is also the story of Augustus' wife, Livia, and his daughter, Julia.

Most of Roman history focuses on and is told by men. This book is told from the points of view of Selene, Livia, and Julia. It is a story of survival (Selene), longing (Julia), and unfaltering fidelity (Livia) that shows the struggle of being a woman in the Roman Empire.

I pitied Julia's total lack of control over her own life and her unluckiness when it came to love. Livia's undying love for her husband and complete devotion to her country was admirable. Selene's story of survival and success was my favorite. There are lessons in each of their stories.

I recommend "The Daughters of Palatine Hill" for anyone interested in the Roman Empire and who likes historical fiction. I would not recommend it for anyone who is offended by sexual language and some suggestive scenes.

Read more in-depth reviews here.

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