someday ill be in company of all....

Monday, June 27, 2016

Book review:Cleopatra a life by Stacy Shiff

Title: Cleopatra a life 
Author: Stacy Schiff
Publisher: Payback book
Price: Rs 1402
Genre: Biography memoir/ Egypt / historic fiction
Source: Personal

This was a book reviewed by an amazing blogger Brian on his blog .I loved it and went for it but it took me so long to write about it.

Cleopatra is perhaps the most intriguing personality in the human history. She has always been like a dream larger than life with greatest things of all humanly possibly around her even greatest of all her tragedies.Though innumerable books have been written about her till date, surprisingly nobody really knew what she looked like though praises of her beauty and talent had been sung far and wide.What sets this apart from others is that Cleopatra is dissected through  the eyes of people around her.Its like going around monument and watching how it is than going on to of it to see things from there.

Born nothing less than a celestial being with all abundance , to sustain her throne went onto marry her siblings followed by rivalry and  war murder and so on.Though Egypt was a small state because of its immense wealth it was always a great point of interest and

When Caesar and Cleopatra met it was just a rendezvous of two  great personality but two great civilizations as well. Their coming together was of two intelligent, astute, charismatic personality like  the two sides of a coin which build a mighty empire that later became an inspiration for Shakespeare's work in the coming ages.Though all that projected her grey side for her own bad. Caesar was both impressed and inspired by her and  her ruling,  that he himself incorporated some of them back home. On the other hand Anthony''s and Cleopatra's paramount rational duties towards their own kingdom  acted synergistic for each other with similar love for art and theater made them come together.

Cleopatra's life always had an ebb and rise , she inherited an empire on the fall went on to loss it, regain them,  then again went on to the the edge of losing it then again built a solid vast empire and in the end lost all of it.

She was sharp, shrewd, aggressive and very adventurous person.All this makes it even more special because she only lived for about forty years .All her actions were politically motivated even when she led Anthony into his own grave finally ending her life eventually..

Schiff beautifully paints an image of Cleopatra that's too raw and real and the vantage she created in quite striking, you are set at a point from where you can watch all the events unfold before you like being seated in an amphitheater, starting from her grand childhood, education that includes art of speech and mastering different languages that shaped her, her controversial marriages, her actions to build her empire..She was a strong woman shouldering all important events in history upon her . Schiff instead of stereotyping  her as an immoral with all the love affairs but brought before us the circumstances or hypothesis that led her to do it..For Schiff Cleopatra is more of a progressive, powerful and an audacious leader, and her life is nothing short of dazzling. Doing her own things in her own way for her  country's good inviting wrath to an otherwise classical world . Romans and Egyptians saw women in a different light.For Romans women were for creating heirs while Cleopatra moved to Jerusalem to cut a deal while she was heavily pregnant. Schiff sums it up with the following-

"Can anything good be done of a woman who slept with two most powerful men of her time? Possibility, not but not in an age when Roman controlled the narrative . Cleopatra stood at one of  the most dangerous intersection in history: that of women and power . Clever women , Euripides had warned hundreds of earlier , were dangerous." 

Schiff's profound way of depicting Cleopatra makes her endearing legend the kind of power whom we would admire. Perhaps if Cleopatra had won her final battle we might have known her very differently as the history is written by the winners.

This historical delicacy is a treat that you would want read over and over again.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Book review: Girl before a mirror by Lisa Palmer

Title: Girl before a mirror
Author: Lisa Palmer
Publisher:William Morrow/Harpercollins
Price: $14.99
Genre: Women's fiction/Contemporary/
Source: Library

Buy girl before a mirror from amazon

Before I begin let me share some happy news with all you guys, its is been a while that I have posted her.. The one posted was pretty much in my drafts  for long so to be honest this is my first post in a while .In between I got married (i know i know) moved across the globe (wow) , now that I'm pretty much settled in the new place and  found my groove , I thought I should start again.Plus library is just few blocks away dada... so here at my new home Im building my new Kindle library and books borrowed from library.

This book I picked firstly for its title, opened a random page and read these quote

"It's hard being woman. Especially being everyone's idea of what being a woman should be.What we want it is to be okay to be just you. All of you. And to know that that's not only good enough, but downright heroic."

Some words you see !

But I was sort of a let down when the book opened up to a 40th birthday celebration of the protagonist Anna Wyatt whose  being divorced is emphasized plus the fact that she is not very happy with her career her introduction also paves way to our understanding that these are just beginning of her twisted life and after few pages one being her lonely childhood next her alcoholic brother .

She decides to get control of her life and build a fulfilling career  for which  she  gives her heart and soul in reviving Luminex shower gel with a new client . Starting up she is assigned with a new young , beautiful and talented colleague Sasha. Anna realizes that her young colleague is beautiful and when you almost think that there would more drama author quickly establishes depth into Anna's character which was very stimulating to keep reading. Anna is intelligent, resourceful, supportive of her younger counterpart, funny in her own way with a very positive outlook in general.I also loved how Palmer projects other female character as well with not much drama very satisfying characters who don't go overboard.

Anna is introduced to a self help book- Be the heroine, find your hero.Though not swept way by romantic novel initially unlike Sasha through the course  she starts to consider its claim..The plot where Anna meets her prince charming Anna , Lincoln a British  financial consultant whom she meets at the hotel during her convention sounds like a page from princess diaries, but you don't really complain as Palmer establishes her characters who openly disapprove romantic novel only outside while loving them every bit inside and even dreaming about it. Ending is very predictable still you enjoy it.

Though not a big fan of romantic novel I do like a change here and there.This is the kind of book you wouldn't rave about still enjoy on a relaxing day with too many interesting quotes about life, some of which are

"I want to be happy and not feel guilty about it.I want to be accepted regardless of what I look like, what I do for a living, my marital status, whether I have kids. I want Purpose, Contentment. to matter, freedom..I want to be. Just be."
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