Never read a novel by Margaret George? Be prepared, it will take you a while. Ms. George does not do skimpy 300-400 page novels. The Memoirs of Cleopatra is no exception. In fact, this novel totals 976 pages. Not for the faint of heart.
I first picked up this novel from the James Prendergast Library. About a week later, I was extremely fortunate to pick up a copy from a garage sale for a buck. So I promptly took the library book back, and tucked in over the long winter to read this gem.
Much has been said about Cleopatra, and most of it paints the leader of Egypt as contemptuous, ambitious, sexual and spoiled. If you think about it, what major historical ruler has not been depicted in such a manner? This novel opens with Cleopatra’s earliest memory… her mother’s death at age three. Throughout her life, Cleopatra herself leads you through amazing and intense action of her life. Whether in Egypt or Rome, the splendid writing carries you away and makes you feel like you are right beside Cleopatra as she tends to her county, and the loves in her life, Cesar and Marc Antony and her children. To her fateful and famous end, The Memoirs of Cleopatra will hold you spellbound and wrapped in the mystique of one of the most enchanting women in history. Margaret George’s research is to be commended yet again, and proves that she is a master of major historical fiction. I have more Margaret George books in the que, including Helen of Troy, Mary Magdalene, Elizabeth I and The Autobiography of King Henry VIII.