Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Ladies, Get Your Stola's... I Am Livia by Phyllis T. Smith, A Review

Why is it that when I think of "Historical Fiction", I think England and the "Middle Ages", Scotland during the 18th century (and those hot Highlanders like Jamie) or WWII? The reason is I never read Phyllis T. Smith before! Can this really be her debut novel?!

Ladies, get your stola's ready for a great read! I Am Livia starts just after the assassination of Julius Caesar. Livia Drusilla is a mere fourteen years old, but has a keen mind and an independent nature. History has written her off as a scheming power-hungry woman, concerned with only advancing her own agenda, but Phyllis Smith tempers that with Livia's perspective on things. Why does history seem to chastise women who have a mind of their own? Livia certainly had a mind of her own, but she was also a young girl, thrown into a life not of her choosing and ultimately finding the love & passion that would define her life. Oh, and what a life Livia had!

Married at fifteen, a mother of one son and pregnant with another, Livia meets and falls passionately in love with the most powerful man in Rome - Octavianus, Julius Caesar's heir. He's a mere boy himself, but as Julius Caesar's chosen heir, his destiny is set. Their 52 year love story with Rome as their backdrop is intense and wonderful, and Livia's part in bringing Rome to greatness is fascinating.

I was so engrossed in this book, I literally could not put it down. I cried at parts (my husband thought something was really wrong), and my heart was warmed by others. Phyllis Smith has created amazing flesh and blood characters that allowed me to step inside their world and live there for a while. But as good as the love story was, and we're not talking blatant sex either, Phyllis has made the time period come alive. This book is rich and full bodied like a good red wine... READ THIS!

P.S. Marc Anthony and Cleopatra make a showing, but their story is nothing compared to Livia and Octavianus!


2 comments:

Carla said...

Sounds interesting!
I checked to see if it was on Wilbor, online library system for audio and ebooks, from my library. They don't have it yet anyway. Bet it would be a really great audio.

Missed you! Nice to hear from you again.

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Carla!
I could not believe how much I really enjoyed this book! I picked this out as a free read from Amazon Prime, so if you are a Prime member you can borrow it.

It's nice to be back! Still busy with "knee stuff" and having another surgery, but still reading! And will be here in between all of that and back full time when I'm all done with getting my knee back to whole!

Thanks for still being there! And saying hello!

my read shelf:
Suzanne's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

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