I just finished reading the book Stealing Athena by Karen Essex. It was fantastic! I read through it so quickly because I honestly couldn’t put it down. Stealing Athena is written so well that I was pulled in by the time I finished the first or second page. Generally I give a book at least a full chapter to see if it will catch my interest. This book didn’t even take that long to pull me in at all. I was instantly hooked.
Many of the characters in Stealing Athena are based on people who actually existed as well as their lives together. The story focuses on two women and goes back and forth in time to talk about the lives of both women. Mary, the Countess of Elgin, is charming and honorable in her attempts to follow her husband and help him in his quest for Athenian works of art. She defies many of the social expectations of her time and becomes acquainted with many of the powerful men throughout the world. Aspasia is the courtesan of Perikles in ancient times and she is a fantastic philosopher. She also tests the expectations for women in her time, particularly by being knowledgeable and outspoken during a time when women were meant to be the opposite.
This Historical Fiction is very well done. It ties together two women who have similarities in personality and who are tied by the Athenian artworks that one witnesses during their creation and the other tries to procure. Stealing Athena is a fantastic book. I know I’ve said that already! But I just absolutely loved how well done it was in tying everything together while also trying to remain more-or-less historically accurate. I loved it so much that I just got another book by Karen Essex..and I’ll let you know how I feel about that one when I’m finished with it!