The Ides of March

Did you read Julius Caesar in high school?
Nerd confession- I liked Shakespeare.  Not enough to read it in my spare time for entertainment but enough that I can appreciate Shakespeare's sonnets and his well known plays.

There are many quotes and phrases that we use that come from his works. But that is another post for another time.

Today is March 15 AKA the Ides of March.

The day Julius Caesar was murdered.

I remember sitting in high school English class reading Shakespeare's play, Julius Caesar, and after the "et tu brute" jotting down March 15th in a notebook.  I told you I was a book nerd.

Today's book review is not by Shakespeare. There may be a collective breath by many. 

The book I recommend for the Ides of March is The Memoirs of Cleopatra.

I read this book for the first time when I was 18. It was and still is one of the longest books I have read. It has a whopping 976 pages. 
Do not be intimidated. The writing style and the first person account will pull you in and keep you on the edge of your seat.

This epic read is ideal for fiction fans who want a book with a basis in historical fact.
The fictional recounting is told in Cleopatra's own voice. It begins with her first memories and her rise to the throne.

Enter in the Romans led by the great conqueror Julius Caesar. A whirlwind romance binds Cleopatra and him together until tragedy strikes him on the Ides of March.  ( Cleopatra is in Rome when this occurs….I am unsure if this is historically accurate, but it made for a great story!)

Picking up the pieces she returns to Egypt.
Political alliances bring her together with Marc Antony, another Roman and friend of Caesars.
Another romantic involvement, she really has a thing for Romans and I am not the only one who thinks so. This snippet from the book confirms it:


Love does not conquer all in this case.
Rome soon invades and captures Egypt and rather than be paraded as a captive through the streets, Cleopatra plots her own demise, by snakebite. A fitting end for a Pharaoh whose royal emblems include a snake.

I was completely drawn into this book. It is full of descriptive writing that will make you feel as if you are there. Obviously there is no written record of Cleopatra's conversations with her trusted servants, Julius Caesar or any other person; but this fictional retelling is believable and gives a humanized side to this great queen of history.

Favorite lines from this book. There were many but I paired it down to these:

~What is one person's diversion may be another's supreme test. (ch. 5)

~Inanimate objects seem to soak up the essence of living things, and later cause pain or pleasure when we merely look at them. (ch. 16)

~Dreams without details cannot come true. ( ch. 72 )

I highly recommend this lengthy book and look to read the other titles by this author in the future.




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