Her life would be marked by scandal and suspicion, worship and adoration.…
At the tender age of 14, Livia Drusilla overhears her father and fellow aristocrats plotting the assassination of Julius Caesar. Proving herself an astute confidante, she becomes her father’s chief political asset - and reluctantly enters into an advantageous marriage to a prominent military officer. Her mother tells her, "It is possible for a woman to influence public affairs," reminding Livia that - while she possesses a keen sense for the machinations of the Roman senate - she must also remain patient and practical.
But patience and practicality disappear from Livia’s mind when she meets Caesar’s heir, Octavianus. At only 18, he displays both power and modesty. A young wife by that point, Livia finds herself drawn to the golden-haired boy. In time, his fortunes will rise as Livia’s family faces terrible danger. But her sharp intellect - and her heart - will lead Livia to make an unbelievable choice - one that will give her greater sway over Rome than she could have ever foreseen.
©2013 Phyllis T. Smith (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
the narrator of this one kind of annoyed me with her slightly gravelly voice, and strange pauses. the story itself was simple but a bit unbalanced in terms of timeline, and perspective (Cleopatra was a ruthless seductress blah blah blah). Not much charisma to the character, but was relatively easy to listen to.
"If you loved I, CLAUDIUS. You'll love this book!"
I'm a huge fan of I, Cladius and Claudius the God by Robert Graves. So, when I heard about this book, I was really excited.
It is written in the same manner as Robert Graves' books. But, this time Livia gets her say.
GREAT BOOK! I recommend it to all historical fiction fans.
This might be good for a 13 year old girl who wants a romance with a little history thrown in to give it a plot and motives for the characters. The book covers only her life at about 15, and then pretty much ends after a few years of being Empress with Octavian. Insipid characterizations. No feeling of being in Rome.
How shallow Livia and Octavian are. Like 16 year olds.
It was all right, given the material.
So much with her first husband and her very early years with Octavius, with no development of her subsequent life where, indeed, lots of people died who interfered with her.
"Wonderful book . . ."
Wonderfully written. Beautifully narrated. I spent a couple of hours studying the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, which greatly added to my understanding and enjoyment of I Am Livia., for her story plays a central role during this important transitional period of Rome's history. But don't get me wrong. Although it greatly enhanced this void is my historical knowledge, that isn't why I chose to read it. I chose it for the book's promise of being a fascinating read about real lives sometimes caught up in what seemed unresolvable human dilemmas. And the author and narrator could not have done a better job in keeping this promise.
"Why couldn't I have learned like this in school?"
I loved every moment of this audiobook. Because of this book, at 40 years old I have gained an intense and renewed thirst for Historical knowledge. Phillis Smith uniquely empathizes with Livia Drusilla's character gives candid yet historically accurate accounts of some of the most important events to shape the world. This book left me wanting more. More knowledge of who history and even prehistory.
"Good story, bad narration"
For one thing, I'd have had her call him Octavian instead of "Caesar," by which most people understand Julius. Later she could haveAlso, much of the writing is overblown, but it may seem worse than it really is because of the narration.
I thought it was good.
How could it have been worse? Narration stilted, other voices (women, children, men) annoying, but worst of all, too many mispronunciations of places and personal names. Didn't anybody look anything up?
yes, but I'm a pushover for Roman costumers.
Interesting portrait of what it's like to be married to a complicated alpha male. Also enjoyed Livia's friendships with other women, including Octavia. Fictional first-person narrative that corrects bad press the first Roman empress has been saddled with (she wasn't bossy, she was savvy; they weren't poisons, they were medicines) makes a good read that would have been better with tighter writing. I kept wanting footnotes (difficult in audio, of course), or at least an epilogue about the sources, but historical fiction does impose a willing suspension of disbelief.
"I wanted to like it"
No, the two hours I spent with this book are lost forever.
The narration is a performance, not a reading. Children's voices are squeaky, men's voices are gravelly, and the narrator's voice is flat. There's a weird pause before "he said" or "I replied" almost every time (probably so the reader can adjust her voice). There's a strange rhythmic pattern to the sentences: two are read on a rising tone, one on a falling tone, and one is flat. Rinse and repeat.
Depending on the casting, yes I would.
I wanted to like this, I really did. But after two hours, I knew It was a waste of time.
"Chicken soup for the feminist soul"
I am not usually a fan of historical fiction but I found this book pretty captivating. The beginning was kind of boring as she was a stubborn little girl married against her will, but as she matured I was enthralled by how much I could relate to her. I think a young feminist would feel inspired by her. I felt real empathy for her jealousy about not conceiving to her battles with love against logic. I don't know that I would have paid for this book, but since it was included in prime, I'm glad I gave it a listen.
"Narrator makes it come alive"
I normally do not read historical fiction, but I was impressed. Joyce Bean was a excellent narrator. The story was credible and gave me a real sense of what is was like to be a woman during the rise of the Roman Empire. It was a good read.
"Really Enjoyed This"
I love historical fiction and this was one of my favorites to listen to. I wanted the story to go on and cover the big gap between Mark Anthony's death and Augustus's death.
"Read the book instead"
I hated the voice of the narrator. At times it sounded like a computer-generated voice. The accent annoyed me, too.
Her reading was robotic and, at times, too fast. She 'over-acted' the dialogue.
I was about a third through the book when I was offered a free trial of Audible, so I chose the same book to listen to. I could barely listen to a page. It was awful. It was far more enjoyable without the distraction of such a coarse voice. All I can add is please, don't let this put you off the book.
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