Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Daughters of Palatine Hill - A Novel by Phyllis T. Smith ~ Marvelous and Masterful~

 I would give more stars if I could! It was an absolutely marvelous book, even better than "I Am Livia" the first one. Thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union for allowing me an ARC.

Livia, the wife of Emperor Augustus for more than 50 years, was one of the daughters the book was written about. The author, who has made Rome come to life in a vivid fashion for me, has made very long dead historical figures spring to life and tell their own stories.

Living on the Palatine Hill also were Cleopatra Selene daughter of Mark Antony and Cleapatra and her half brother Jullus( Iullus) Antony as foster children of Octavia sister to Augustus. Raised in the household of Livia and Augustus was Julia only child of Caesar and sometimes Livia's sons Tiberius and Drusus.

What an amazingly complicated life Livia lived; her father was killed at Phillipi and her mother killed herself.She was married quite young to her cousin Tiberius Nero, who she divorced when she was pregnant with her 2nd son. She divorced at the insistence of Octavian who she called Tavius who would be come Augustus.

Julia who has a lot of children with Agrippa who she did not wish to marry, was first married to her cousin Marcellus and lastly to Livia, her stepmother's son Tiberius. She rebelled in many ways including numerous adulterous affairs and lastly is exiled to a small island off Italy. Does she return?

Realizing now that when this book ends Livia and Augustus have a lot more years left~ Can I hope for a sequel? Please? Phyllis T. Smith is a remarkable and sophisticated writer who truly breathes life into her characters and her era. A masterful work and recommended highly.

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