I’m taking the Coursera class in Historical Fiction and this is one of the highlighted books. I’m going to try to get to some of the other recommended books in the upcoming couple months.
With The Love Artist Alison has used a wonderfully lush writing style, especially when it comes to the flora and the fauna of Greece. Her descriptions of the islands and sea routes was a marvel. Unfortunately the often purply turgid prose frequently interferes with comprehension. The few historical parts interested me, but as I closed in around the romance/love/erotic and magic parts I’m inclined to skim.
Ovid was an Roman poet known for his love/erotic poetry. He was possibly exiled to Tomis by Caesar Augustus in about 8 AD, but we only have his own word for that. There he continued to write.
This is the story of how he got himself exiled in the first place. How he met a strange magical woman named Xenia on a prior journey, brought her to Rome and started writing about her. Ovid’s big desire was to be remembered – Xenia, the witch, could possibly help him with that or foresee it. But then he started seeing Julia, Augustus’ granddaughter, who had a little revenge scheme of her own going. And Xenia has a few extra tricks up her sleeve.
This is certainly make-believe history as far as I know, but it might make a good story for someone who likes romance and horror. It’s pretty good writing with different tones building and easing and appropriate metaphors swirling around the main plots and themes.
Other historical references in this book include: