- Paperback: 200 pages
- Publisher: Luminis Books, Inc. (May 16, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1935462970
- ISBN-13: 978-1935462972
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,535,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Just Myrto Paperback – May 16, 2014
The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Laurie Gray is the founder of Socratic Parenting LLC and an adjunct professor of criminal sciences at Indiana Tech University. She is the author of Maybe I Will and Summer Sanctuary, which won a Moonbeam Gold Medal for excellence in young adult fiction and was named a 2011 Indiana Best Book Finalist. She lives in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
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Myrto has been taking care of her father for years, leaving her older than normal marriageable age, and without a dowry. Her brother offers her hand in marriage to the philosopher Socrates, who accepts. Myrto then travels to his home and becomes his wife.
First, let me say that it is SO WEIRD to have an ancient, historical, wizened figure as a normal, everyday character. Socrates is one of the most renowned philosophers in all of history, not just another man. And Plato is the genius philosopher guy, not some hot young guy. And yet, here they were, just normal people doing normal Ancient Greek things. Weird.
Second, I feel the summary is a bit misguided. It definitely hints at more between Myrto and Plato when there was actually...nothing. Like, she sees him and they have a conversation, and the end. Then, throughout the book, they see each other occasionally, but nothing really happens. Yes, something happens at the end, but Plato wasn't as big of a character as I was hoping, which was disappointing.
Also, I wasn't a big fan of Myrto herself. I thought I would be. A girl who stands up for her rights and makes the way for women to be treated more fairly in Ancient Greece? Totally my thing. But Myrto wasn't really like that. Instead, I found her to be more spoiled, which was surprising, considering her circumstances. Xanthippe is painted as this terrible, cruel person, when in reality, she didn't really do anything. Yeah, she was a bit upset when Socrates brought Myrto home, but then all Myrto did was sit in her room and whine and act entitled. She didn't help Xanthippe with a single chore or do anything. So I can see why Xanthippe wasn't exactly her biggest fan.
That said, I loved the culture and the history of Ancient Greece. In fact, I wish there was more of it. The philosophy, while at times, was a bit much, was interesting and reminiscent of the time period. And, although weird, it was still intriguing to see the "normal" lives of the people that we hold in such high esteem today.
I think Xanthippe became my favorite character, with her caring for the exposed girls (girls left out to die when a family couldn't afford to care for them/didn't want a girl). And although the synopsis says that Myrto paves the way for women of the future to live better lives, I think it was Xanthippe. Sure, Myrto was the one who learned to read and Xanthippe couldn't, but would Myrto have thought of sharing that rare gift with all the girls in the house with Xanthippe forcing her to? Doubtful.
Lamprocles, Xanthippe's and Socrates' son, was also an enjoyable character. His excitement about reading and learning were contagious, something I wish all kids his age could have. And even though what he wants to do with his life is different than the norm, he was okay with it. He just wanted to do what he loved. I admire that.
I still very much enjoyed this book, even with the few issues I had with Myrto and too much philosophy. Although I wish we could have seen more of Plato and other historical figures, it will definitely appeal to fans of historical fiction, especially if you like the Ancient Greek time period.