Bestselling Historical Fiction in Portuguese in 2020
The Time In Between: A Novel
- Atria Books
The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Book 1)
Isabella: The Warrior Queen
The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis
The Vineyard: A Novel
El tiempo entre costuras: Una novela (Atria Espanol) (Spanish Edition)
La Sombra del Viento (El cementerio de los libros olvidados nº 1) (Spanish Edition)
El amor en los tiempos del cólera (Oprah #59) (Spanish Edition)
The Journey in Between: A Thru-Hiking Adventure on El Camino de Santiago
The Angel's Game: A Psychological Thriller
- Anchor Books
La catedral del mar (Spanish Edition)
Don Quijote de la Mancha (Spanish Edition)
- Vintage Books USA
Dime quién soy (Spanish Edition)
Review: Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran
Ms. Moran stays close to the true events of history, but like all the best writers of historical fiction she adds some flair of her own.
As far as ancient women go, Selene, isn't as famous as her mother, but she was arguably more successful, and this book is a captivating story of her youth as a virtual prisoner of war in Rome. Ms. Moran stays close to the true events of history, but like all the best writers of historical fiction she adds some flair of her own. She conjures up a mythical figure of the Red Eagle, a Spartacus-like hero who encourages slave rebellions.
This was a fantastic addition both because it highlights the sociological problems that slavery presented to Rome, and also gives us a romantic figure for Selene to admire as a young girl. What's more, it emphasized the turbulent nature of the times. Because Augustus lived to be a very old man, we often look back on his reign as a time of stability and peace. He wanted us to remember it that way. The truth is that it wasn't always peaceful, or inevitable that he should remain in power, and this book illustrates that very well.
Ms. Moran is a world traveler and it shows. This novel effortlessly brings Alexandria and Rome to life. The scenery, and particularly the architectural exploration, is not only well-researched, but fascinating. I particularly enjoyed the way Selene was portrayed as an artist and budding architect (something very relevant to her later life). Also, it was a rare treat to explore ancient Rome through Selene's eyes, giving us fascinating insights into the daily life of the imperial family and the odd customs of the Romans, many of which would have horrified a young princess of Egypt.
As a heroine, Selene is plucky and ambitious, rebellious, but a survivor. She's exactly the kind of character young girls will love-and older girls will respect. But the secondary characters in the book are also well-drawn and exciting. The author takes telling stories and uses them to illuminate the character of historical figures like Augustus. (For example, the fact Ms. Moran actually managed to work in the incident of Augustus, the slave and the eels in a perfectly organic way is a testament to her creativity and skill.)
In all, Ms. Moran has a gift for telling the stories of women that history has forgotten, and her talent is on full-display in Cleopatra's Daughter, which will have a proud and permanent place on my book shelf. Everyone should read this book and lucky for you, it's on sale now.