In Cleopatra’s Moon, Vicky Alvear Schecter (Alexander the Great Rocks the World) takes a little bit of historical white space and a feisty, feminist heroine and weaves a beautiful novel of love and country. Cleopatra Selene is the daughter of Cleopatra of Egypt and General Marcus Antonius. She is smart and curious and loyal to her country. The reader meets her at age sixteen, burying her twin in the traditional way. After that, the story shifts back to 34 BC, when Cleopatra Selene was seven and moves chronologically forward. In this novel, the reader experiences Cleopatra’s reign as her daughter lives it. The political scene is engaging and complicated. We see her living in the house of her enemy. Of course, Cleopatra Selene is determined to return to her native land.
Cleopatra’s Moon is rich in authentic details, including faith. It never slows. Jewish readers of historical fiction will enjoy seeing Egypt in a new way from this unique and sometimes naïve point of view. Schecter, as in her first novel, makes full use of the extensive facts she has of this time period. Her story of love and power satisfies. Occasionally violent, Cleopatra’s Moon will work well in book clubs and discussions. A cast of characters precedes the text. A section “The Facts within the Fiction” follows. Recommended for ages 13 and up.