Thursday, October 20, 2011

Review: Pilate's Wife

Pilate’s Wife
by Antoinette May
William Morrow Hardcover
ISBN 9780061128653
368 pages
Release Date: November 1, 2006
Available for purchase 

Why did you choose this book? The book was sitting on the ‘new book shelf’ at my local library and I liked the cover. Once I saw it is historical fiction, I was sold!
When did you read this book? February 2010
Who should read this book? readers of historical fiction of the biblical era who do not mind a long read
Here is a synopsis of ‘Pilate’s Wife' from Goodreads, where it rates 3.56 stars.

A daughter of privilege in the most powerful empire the world has ever known, Claudia has a unique and disturbing "gift": her dreams have an uncanny way of coming true. As a rebellious child seated beside the tyrannical Roman Emperor Tiberius, she first spies the powerful gladiator who will ultimately be her one true passion. Yet it is the ambitious magistrate Pontius Pilate who intrigues the impressionable young woman she becomes, and Claudia finds her way into his arms by means of a mysterious ancient magic. Pilate is her grand destiny, leading her to Judaea and plunging her into a seething cauldron of open rebellion. But following her friend Miriam of Magdala's confession of her ecstatic love for a charismatic religious radical, Claudia begins to experience terrifying visions—horrific premonitions of war, injustice, untold devastation and damnation ...and the crucifixion of a divine martyr whom she must do everything in her power to save.

My Review 
I read this a couple of years ago and don’t really remember too much about it, but I don’t remember it was slow moving and not a book I would choose to read again. 
I really did not like the main character, Claudia who goes on to become the wife of Pilate. She is headstrong and willful, and while she started out as honorable and brave, by the end of the story she is just self-centered, doing whatever she wants no matter who she may hurt, She also does not learning from either her mistakes, or those of others. 
Also, it seemed to me that the book crosses the line from historical fiction, which though embellished, is usually based in fact, to fantasy. Apparently little is known the real Claudia, so the author took great liberty with her imagination. One of Claudia's best friends is Miriam (Mary Magdalene) and Claudia attends the wedding of Miriam to Jesus. Miriam spends the night of the crucifix in Claudia's quarters in Pilate's palace. It just felt more like 'name dropping' than good fiction

I really don't recommend reading this book unless you have unlimited time for reading. It is an ok book, but it is JUST an ok book and there are so many better books out there. 

My Rating:  ★★ 2 Stars

Before the Blog is a meme hosted by YA Litwit. The idea here is that we have all been reading much longer than we have been blogging and have many books in our reading past that are worthy of blogging about. This is a way to 'rediscover' these gems by answering a few basic questions. For details check out Karis' YA Litwit blog.

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