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Maureen

Member Since 2013

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  • I Am Livia

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Phyllis T. Smith
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (75)

    At the tender age of 14, Livia Drusilla overhears her father and fellow aristocrats plotting the assassination of Julius Caesar. Proving herself an astute confidante, she becomes her father’s chief political asset - and reluctantly enters into an advantageous marriage to a prominent military officer. Her mother tells her, "It is possible for a woman to influence public affairs," reminding Livia that - while she possesses a keen sense for the machinations of the Roman senate - she must also remain patient and practical.

    LeSLiE says: "If you loved I, CLAUDIUS. You'll love this book!"
    "Good story, bad narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    For one thing, I'd have had her call him Octavian instead of "Caesar," by which most people understand Julius. Later she could haveAlso, much of the writing is overblown, but it may seem worse than it really is because of the narration.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I thought it was good.


    How could the performance have been better?

    How could it have been worse? Narration stilted, other voices (women, children, men) annoying, but worst of all, too many mispronunciations of places and personal names. Didn't anybody look anything up?


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    yes, but I'm a pushover for Roman costumers.


    Any additional comments?

    Interesting portrait of what it's like to be married to a complicated alpha male. Also enjoyed Livia's friendships with other women, including Octavia. Fictional first-person narrative that corrects bad press the first Roman empress has been saddled with (she wasn't bossy, she was savvy; they weren't poisons, they were medicines) makes a good read that would have been better with tighter writing. I kept wanting footnotes (difficult in audio, of course), or at least an epilogue about the sources, but historical fiction does impose a willing suspension of disbelief.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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