I Am Livia by Phyllis T. Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Roman history lite. Livia Drusilla, the first Augusta of Rome, was a fascinating woman. This book gives interesting insight into daily life in ancient Rome, particularly domestic issues and the status of women, from Livia’s first marriage to Tiberius Nero through her marriage to Octavian, Caesar Augustus and the defeat of Cleopatra and Mark Antony. I appreciated that it didn’t go too far down the romance path, which it easily could have. I would have enjoyed more politics and intrigue – what else was ancient Rome all about, after all? Twenty-three daggers for Julius Caesar yet not a single poisoning! But I suppose not all historical fiction can be Julian or I, Claudius. Competently written with good plotting and character development. I would have liked more depth, but it’s still a fast and entertaining read, good for travel or a lazy weekend.