Cleopatra’s Moon

Vicky Alvear Schecter
  • Review
By – November 7, 2011

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.

Sarah Aron­son holds an MFA in Writ­ing for Chil­dren and Young Adults from Ver­mont Col­lege. She is a full time writer and has recent­ly pub­lished her first nov­el, Head Case (Roar­ing Brook) for young adults. Sara blogs every Thurs­day for the Lilith blog.

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