Her entry begins:
I just finished Kate Atkinson’s A God in Ruins. It’s one of those books that tears through you and reminds you of the brilliance of fiction, why you wanted to write it in the first place. It tells the story of Teddy Todd—Ursula’s often ill-fated younger brother, for those who read Life After Life—as he survives a harrowing stint as a British bomber pilot in World War II and continues onto a life he’d never thought he’d had, full of the “ordinary” middle-class mishaps, tragedies and occasional wonders. Atkinson manages to distill great and small moments of the human experience with exquisite precision: a parent’s heart-wrenching disappointment in a child, the daunting secrets and sacrifices of a married couple, an old man’s deep-seeded longing for the imperfect idyll of his childhood. The novel spans much of 20th century British history—the senseless violence of the Second World War, the soul-searching and bucking up of its aftermath, the Flower Child ethos ebbing away into something sterner, more sensible, perhaps. And—miraculously! in the same damn book!—Atkinson also manages to...[read on]About Cleopatra's Shadows, from the publisher:
Page-turning historical fiction that reimagines the beginnings of Cleopatra's epic saga through the eyes of her younger sister.Visit Emily Holleman's website.
Before Caesar and the carpet, before Antony and Actium, before Octavian and the asp, there was Arsinoe.
Abandoned by her beloved Cleopatra and an indifferent father, young Arsinoe must fight for her survival in the bloodthirsty royal court when her half-sister Berenice seizes Egypt's throne. Even as the quick-witted girl wins Berenice's favor, a new specter haunts her days-dark dreams that have a habit of coming true.
To survive, she escapes the palace for the war-torn streets of Alexandria. Meanwhile, Berenice confronts her own demons as she fights to maintain power. When their deposed father Ptolemy marches on the city with a Roman army, both daughters must decide where their allegiances truly lie, and Arsinoe grapples with the truth, that the only way to survive her dynasty is to rule it.
Writers Read: Emily Holleman.