Friday, August 21, 2009

Lavinia by Ursula Le Guin

Lavinia, a nobody character in the Aeneid takes centre stage as the heroine. A love story. A story of passion and death. This is a poetic romance with the format of a novel, a serenade of the poet Vigil and a celebration of the strength of the female spirit.

Never mind that I found my usual easy-going suspension of disbelief to be impossible; it is hard to keep up such fakeries when the truth is woven into the story itself, as implacable and inescapable as the prophecies of the poet himself. For Livinia knows -- as do her readers -- that the man she is waiting for will die, that she will spark a bitter war, and that if she does not follow this destiny then her life, and the life of her people will be for nothing.

An intriguingly subtle interweaving of Ursula Le Guin's skill both as a fantasist and as a literary writer.

Review by Alicia Ponder

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