Title: The Love-Artist
Author: Jane Alison
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Publish Date: April 1, 2001
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Why was Ovid, the
most popular author of his day, banished to the edges of the Roman
Empire? Why do only two lines survive of his play Medea,
reputedly his most passionate work and perhaps his most Accomplished?
Between the known details of the poet's life and these enigmas, Jane
Alison has Interpolated a haunting drama of passion and psychological
On holiday at the Black Sea, on the fringes of the
Empire, Ovid encounters an almost otherworldly woman who seems to embody
the fictitious creations of his soon-to-be-published Metamorphoses.
Part healer, part witch, she seems myth come to life. Enchanted and
obsessed -- and, for the first time in a long while, flush with
inspiration -- Ovid takes her back with him to Rome. But the inexorable
pull of ambition leads him to make a Faustian bargain with fate that
will betray his newfound muse. As the two of them become entangled in
its snares, the reader is drawn deep into an ingeniously enacted
meditation on love, art, and the desire for immortality."
My Two Cents:
Love Artist" is the story of the famous poet, Ovid, and his exile from
Rome. Not much is known about why exactly he was exiled. Not much is
known about what his life was like when he was exiled. The author is
able to take what we do know and create a fascinating story about what
may have happened to Ovid during that time period.
The book is
definitely a quiet one and takes a little while to truly hit its stride.
It eventually gets there but it just takes a little bit. It slowly
unfolds as we find out about Ovid's exile and the woman that he meets
there that will change the course of his life, both personal and
creative. He very quickly falls in love with a woman that may have
become the muse for Ovid's Medea, of which only two lines survive today.
This woman is mysterious. She may even have some magical qualities and
she may actually be a witch. Ovid molds her character into the perfect
character for his work.
I liked the settings in this book most of
all. I still have not read all that much historical fiction set in
ancient times and I really find myself appreciating books that have a
lot of detail about the setting. I love armchair traveling and
definitely appreciated exploring somewhere new.
Overall, this was an interesting look at Ovid's life.