Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Book 71 - Cleopatra Confesses by Carolyn Meyer - Alexandria, Egypt

Earlier this year (January) I read and reviewed Cleopatra Rules - a non fiction book all about this mysterious Queen. I couldn't resist picking up this fictitious account of the life of the Queen from her childhood to just after the death of Julius Caesar and her return to Alexandria. 

Carolyn Meyer has created a wonderful character in Cleopatra. She tells her story in the first person and the reader comes to respect and admire her courage, intelligence and self belief. In a palace of enemies - her older sisters and later the advisors of her younger brother, her husband, she is a solitary figure who learns that knowledge of history and of her own people are her greatest allies. In her loneliness, Cleopatra befriends one of the palace dancers, Charmion, a girl her own age. Their friendship brings Cleopatra much needed advice and comfort as she faces the responsibilities and dangers in her role as Princess and then Queen. 

The book is well researched and at the end has a section "Cleopatra in History." The note from the author explains her interest in Cleopatra and how she went about researching this book. This two page explanation is a brilliant teaching point to show students how research is so important in historical fiction. It also has a bibliography a real plus from this librarian's point of view.

Carolyn Meyer's talks about her book.