Bookies thoughts on Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff (and a picture of our very own Cleopatra!)
- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (November 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316001929
- ISBN-13: 978-0316001922
Though her life spanned fewer than forty years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world. She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first when both were teenagers. She poisoned the second. Ultimately she dispensed with an ambitious sister as well; assassination was a family specialty. Cleopatra appears to have had been with only two men. They happen, however, to have been Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, among the most prominent Romans of the day. Both were married to other women. Cleopatra had a child with Caesar and–after his murder–three more with his protégé. Already she was the wealthiest ruler in the Mediterranean; the relationship with Antony confirmed her status as the most influential woman of the age. The two would together attempt to forge a new empire, in an alliance that spelled their ends.
This was our book club read while I was in Honduras. I had the best of intentions to read it before I left, but life happenings, a very sick dog, and hard decisions made that… ummm… not happen. Upon my return from Honduras I connected with a couple of the girls in the group and they shared not only their thoughts… but also pictures!!!
We were all surprised by the role of women in Egypt during this time. They had so many rights and were held in such high esteem. They were able to own land and many riches and sometimes the husbands were the ones left at home weaving by the loom. We wondered what created the shift in our culture to relegate women as so far beneath men that we had to struggle in the last century to get some of our rights back. One of the questions in the discussion guide asked if women could ever go backward in rights again and all of us believed it would not happen to us again.
While we still do not know a lot about Cleopatra even after reading the book, what we did learn was fascinating. She was very rich and slightly manipulative. She was charming and even (look at the pictures in the book) kind of ugly.
The Bookies advice to me.. dont bother reading it. Most of the girls did not finish it, finding it hard to get into. However I was also told it is not as long as it looks.. the last 60 pages are pictures.
Overall with 8 Bookies in attendance, the book rating was way below average.
The food however – was fun:
and finally – Amy was our very own Cleopatra:
Which leads me to burst with pride for our AWESOME book club! As I sit here and write this review I am prompted to jot down a few (ok maybe more than a few) reasons I enjoy the Bookies so much:
1. We go the extra mile to make the reviews interesting
2. Special event months like our Summer Queen event, Classic Hat and Read month, and Christmas party
3. Digging deep for bonus info on books and authors
4. We value each others opinions
5. We agree to occasionally disagree
6. Food that is prompted by the books we read
7. An amazing and passionate group of girls that have turned from a group of book lovers to friends
8. Stretched to read books and genres I may not have chosen but found out I enjoyed
9. It’s ok to not read the book.
10. 10+ years of Bookies, started in August 2001 with 3 girls and now 10 years later we have 14.