NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!

Lezlie



Monday, June 16, 2008

STEALING ATHENA

by Karen Essex



Stealing Athena is two stories told in parallel. One is the story of Aspasia, consort of Pericles, leader during the Golden Age of Athens. The other, set in the early 19th century, is of Mary, Lady Elgin, wife of Lord Elgin, who, amid political turbulence and controversy, brought some of the sculptures of the Parthenon, known as the Elgin Marbles, to England.

Though they lived over two millennia apart, the experiences of the two women are strikingly similar. Both intelligent and independent-minded, they try to get along in male-dominated worlds. They work in the background to help their men achieve the glory they seek so desperately. They bear and raise the children that will carry on their men's names. But when they chafe against long-held custom, each will face the wrath of her society and each will triumph in her own way. And through it all, the reader will watch the construction and deconstruction of one of the most famous buildings in the world -- the Parthenon.

For readers who like the "learning" aspects of reading historicals, but don't like to be bogged down by pages and pages of details, Stealing Athena is perfect. The history included is most absorbing, but the bulk of the book truly revolves around Aspasia and Mary and how they cope when it seems the world has conspired against not only themselves, but against all women. In a letter to readers, author Karen Essex says, "I made it my goal to revive the stories of extraordinary women, highlighting the ways that they transformed the times in which they lived and the world beyond." Stealing Athena accomplishes this worthy aspiration in spades!

Lezlie

For more on Karen Essex and her work, see her Official Website.

To read an interview with Ms. Essex from the Historical Boys blog by historical author C.W. Gortner, click here!

12 comments:

Linda/CT said...

Hi Lezlie...Stealing Athena sounds terrific; thanks for the wonderful review. It's going on THE list right now. Linda/CT

Lezlie said...

Hi, Linda! Let me know how you liked it when you get to it.

Lezlie

Teddy Rose said...

Awesome review! I just added it to my TBR.

Did you read Leonardo's Swans? I enjoyed that one.

Lezlie said...

Teddy Rose ~ Thanks! I have not read Leonardo's Swans yet, but I put it on my list after I finished Stealing Athena. It looks great!

Lezlie

naida said...

This sounds wonderful, I always enjoy historical fiction.

http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

Lezlie said...

Naida ~ I've been making a point to read other things this year, things I wouldn't normally have picked up, but historicals are my true love. I always come back to them!

Lezlie

Trish said...

Sounds fascinating! Is Pericles the one who rescued Andromeda or that Perseus? Anyway, I'll have to keep this on my book radar! Thanks for the review.

Lezlie said...

Trish ~ I had to look it up, but Perseus rescued Andromeda. (I just love Wikipedia!) :-) If you read it and write a review, let me know. I'll link it here!

Lezlie

Teddy Rose said...

I just received an ARC of this book. I'm really looking forward to reading it.

Lezlie said...

Teddy Rose ~ I'm just curious ~ Is the book not out in Canada yet, or did you get the ARC after it was released? I'm asking because I have a couple ARCs I requested that I didn't get before the release date, and I'm wondering if there's still hope. ;-)

L.

Teddy Rose said...

It was out on June 17th and I just requested it a couple of weeks ago. They actually sent me the brand new hard cover, rather than a real ARC, nice.

Lezlie said...

Teddy Rose ~ Nice! Maybe there's still hope for the ones I thought I wouldn't get.