Monday, March 19, 2012
100 Books in 2012: Book 24 "Lavinia"
This Ursula K. Le Guin novel was the book club read for March, and I finally got around to it this weekend. Lavinia re-tells the end of the Aeneid from the point of view of the Latin princess, Lavinia, who ends up married to Aeneas. I love taking marginalized historical females and giving them a voice, and Le Guin has certainly done that.
There's a large amount of descriptive narrative, and not a lot of dialogue. I found it easier to really know the setting rather than the secondary characters, but Lavinia and her parents are vivid and real. The best scenes, in my opinion, are when Lavinia is speaking with "her poet": she meets the spirit of Virgil before ever meeting Aeneas, and has a glimpse of her fate as he wrote it. The idea that artists create as well as represent reality was an intriguing addition to the story.
If you've read Le Guin before and enjoy her prose, try this novel. It was a slow read for me, but at least I was able to have a great conversation with my Latin teacher husband, plotting ways to use this book in his classroom.
Happy Monday! What are you reading this week?