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I Am Livia | [Phyllis T. Smith]

I Am Livia

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.
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Publisher's Summary

Her life would be marked by scandal and suspicion, worship and adoration.…

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.

But patience and practicality disappear from Livia’s mind when she meets Caesar’s heir, Octavianus. At only 18, he displays both power and modesty. A young wife by that point, Livia finds herself drawn to the golden-haired boy. In time, his fortunes will rise as Livia’s family faces terrible danger. But her sharp intellect - and her heart - will lead Livia to make an unbelievable choice - one that will give her greater sway over Rome than she could have ever foreseen.

©2013 Phyllis T. Smith (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (50 )
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4.2 (44 )
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4.1 (40 )
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Performance
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  •  
    LeSLiE 05-08-14
    LeSLiE 05-08-14 Member Since 2007

    QUESTION : DOES LISTENING TO AUDIO BOOKS MAKE YOU SMARTER? If so, I'm. Freakin Genius!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If you loved I, CLAUDIUS. You'll love this book!"

    I'm a huge fan of I, Cladius and Claudius the God by Robert Graves. So, when I heard about this book, I was really excited.
    It is written in the same manner as Robert Graves' books. But, this time Livia gets her say.
    GREAT BOOK! I recommend it to all historical fiction fans.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Hanlon 06-04-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Shallow, dull."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This might be good for a 13 year old girl who wants a romance with a little history thrown in to give it a plot and motives for the characters. The book covers only her life at about 15, and then pretty much ends after a few years of being Empress with Octavian. Insipid characterizations. No feeling of being in Rome.


    What was most disappointing about Phyllis T. Smith’s story?

    How shallow Livia and Octavian are. Like 16 year olds.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    It was all right, given the material.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from I Am Livia?

    So much with her first husband and her very early years with Octavius, with no development of her subsequent life where, indeed, lots of people died who interfered with her.


    Any additional comments?

    No.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maureen 06-19-14
    Maureen 06-19-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Good story, bad narration"
    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
  •  
    Catherine 05-03-14
    Catherine 05-03-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I wanted to like it"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No, the two hours I spent with this book are lost forever.


    What didn’t you like about Joyce Bean’s performance?

    The narration is a performance, not a reading. Children's voices are squeaky, men's voices are gravelly, and the narrator's voice is flat. There's a weird pause before "he said" or "I replied" almost every time (probably so the reader can adjust her voice). There's a strange rhythmic pattern to the sentences: two are read on a rising tone, one on a falling tone, and one is flat. Rinse and repeat.


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

    Depending on the casting, yes I would.


    Any additional comments?

    I wanted to like this, I really did. But after two hours, I knew It was a waste of time.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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