Thursday, October 23, 2014

I Am Livia by Phyllis T. Smith

Her life would be marked by scandal and suspicion, worship and adoration…
At the tender age of fourteen, 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 eighteen, 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.

I am Livia is a new look on a woman that time has made into a villainous.  Livia tells her story from the time of Julius Caesar’s murder to when Mark Anthony and Cleopatra committed suicide.

As a girl Livia was a pawn in a man’s world.  But from that she grew into a woman who wanted to make a difference for others.  History has painted her as a domineering wife and mother; but I think that was done by men who feared her power and all the good she did for the Roman people.

Her father gives her to Tiberius Nero as a gift for fighting on the side of Brutus against Caesar.  When Mark Anthony starts fighting against Octavian for Rome she faces many hardships and almost loses her life.  Once a truce is made, Octavian falls in love with her and even though she is pregnant by her husband, he marries her.

 Together they have a very passionate and supportive relationship.  History talks mostly about Cleopatra and Anthony as the main romantic couple of that era, but I think this story shows that through everything Octavian and Livia are the stronger couple.
The pace of this book is great.  I couldn’t put it down.  I took this book on vacation and whenever I could I would pick it up.  It was one of those books that you want to continue reading but are sad when it ends. At a time when women were subservient and were not allowed into politics Octavian listened to his wife and allowed her to be his equal. 

I love how Phyllis T. Smith shows historical figures as real people.  You get a sense of how they really lived and it opens a window on a time you have probably read in history class and were totally bored by.  I got a new perspective on a story I thought I knew and am now interested in finding out more about.

Phyllis T. Smith’s writing brings Rome back to life.  I felt like I was part of the story while I was reading and I wanted to go to the Forum, The Senate and to all of Rome in its heyday!

I got this book on Amazon for free when I saw the cover.  It intrigued me.  It didn’t disappoint.  I loved it!!! I would definitely recommend this book!  I say go and pick it up you will love it!!!!

Phyllis T. Smith was born and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. After obtaining a bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College and a master's degree from New York University, Phyllis pursued a practical career in computer applications training, yet found herself drawn to literature and art of the ancient world. I Am Livia is her first novel. She has another novel set in ancient Rome in the works.

*I purchased a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Stephanie

1 comment:

  1. Wow, great review! I recently read and reviewed I Am Livia recently. I enjoyed reading this novel as well.


The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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