Last Tuesday our book club met to discuss Cleopatra: A Life. I had nominated this book for our November read. The back cover of the book made her life sound lurid and fascinating. What the back cover did not mention, nor did I research it enough to know, was that this was a non-fiction book and not the historical fiction novel I thought it to be.
For most of this book I thought I was reading about the lives of Caesar and Mark Antony. Not much is truly known about Cleopatra so what little we do know of her comes from her involvement in the lives of these two world renowned men. Little exists in print or chiseled portraits of this intelligent manipulative woman.
Cleopatra was an enigma; very knowledgeable in science, politics and the arts, she had riches beyond measure and she was charming to boot. So charming in fact, that most men who met her fell hopelessly in love with her despite the fact that she was not the great beauty Elizabeth Taylor portrayed her to be.
I learned a lot about Roman and Egyptian culture and their forms of government at the time, but I wish I would have learned more about this fascinating and beloved ruler. 3/5 stars
Our book club struggled with this discussion because only 2 of the 8 that came that night had finished it. There were a few others that were very close to finishing which did help some, but we had a good time anyway. Amy P, who was hosting us that night dressed up like Cleopatra!
Isn’t our book club cool?! We had lots of food (meatballs, beer bread, apple cake, etc.) I always like to theme my food off the book somehow. I didn’t have a whole lot of time for cooking that night since I had to get Zach to work so I brought Fig Newtons (since Cleopatra called for sweet figs the day she committed suicide) and Greek yogurt (in honor of Caesar.)
Corny I know, but it worked! 🙂 Our book club read for December is Christmas Wedding by James Patterson.