33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
A Woman and a Story to Remember,
This review is from: Remembering Hypatia: A Novel of Ancient Egypt (Paperback)
A long forgotten woman named Hypatia lived in Egypt, not at the time of the pharaohs, but much later, under Roman occupation, when education and learning were at a high point, and the "cultured" city of Alexandria was as much a melting pot as the major cities in America today. The story of Hypatia is as heart breaking as it is informative. Brian Trent's beautifully woven tapestry of events, based on the TRUE story, is one that will certainly be remembered.
Remembering Hypatia is an exciting and shocking piece of historical fiction. Comprehensively researched, this novel tells the story of Hypatia, the woman astronomer, mathematician and philosopher who was head of the Great Library in Alexandria, Egypt in 414 A.D.. It tells of her passion and her assassination. It contains polarities in religious and political/educational thinking, which are hauntingly similar to what we see in the United States and the world today.
Insightfully written, the book is captivating, moving from scene to scene like a motion picture. It excites the reader about education and knowledge, edifies with various historical facts, challenges belief systems, (steams up the room in a few unexpected brief scenes), and completely startles one with the similarity to today's society and its growing schism between differing political and religious views. One side breathes total intolerance, while the other side struggles to tolerate those who would have them killed.
Among the many events that run concurrently are the treatment of women and the persecution of the Jews. Hypatia rose through the ranks in a "man's world" and became highly esteemed during a time when most women still had only domestic roles. That she lost her life to the religious prejudices of the day, through political brainwashing, is a heart-wrenching tragedy.
A charismatic young male character, named Thasos, makes the story as appealing to high school and college students, as it does to adults. The novel may excite students about the prospect of learning, (if it doesn't make them fear one could be killed for it). The reader becomes poignantly aware of the challenges of governing a society where there are conflicting views. If rating it like a movie, I would give it an "R" for a few, if only brief, steamy sexual scenes and violence that, unfortunately, is historically accurate.
If you want to take a book on an airplane or to the beach (or mountains, or to an air-conditioned "anywhere") this summer, this book is highly recommended.