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The Sirens of Surrentum (The Roman Mysteries, #11)
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The Sirens of Surrentum (The Roman Mysteries #11)

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  424 ratings  ·  18 reviews
It's June A.D. 80. Everyone is thinking about love at the lavish Villa Limona, where friends Flavia, Jonathan, Lupus, and Nubia have come to visit for the summer. But their host suspects that there's a poisoner among the houseguests, and the friends are asked to investigate. Faced with many distractions, including the arrival of Flavia's betrothed, can they set a trap to c ...more
Hardcover, 259 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Roaring Brook Press (first published 2006)
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What a fun book! Historical fiction plus a mystery...add in a coming-of-age story, and you've got a winner in my eyes. The Sirens of Surrentum also has enough intrigue and allusions to steamy romance (a number of couples participate in offstage "very kissing") that my seventh graders are interested in reading it (though the main characters are only 11 or 12, and my students' ages range between 12 and 15). In ancient Greece, girls were marriageable at 12, and their fathers usually strategically a ...more
Diana Sandberg
Still holding up excellently. I am admiring Lawrence’s ability to touch on serious subjects – in this case, a very young girl’s infatuation with a predatory older man and the danger arising therefrom – without compromising the story or the characters.
Dieses Buch behandelt ein Thema, das man bei einem Kinderbuch nicht erwarten würde.
Flavia verbringt mit ihren Freunden den Sommer in der Villa Limona von Publius Pollius Felix, in welchen sie immer noch verliebt ist. Pulchra hat sie gebenten herauszufinden, wer versucht ihre Mutter zu vergiften. Schon bald müssen die Kinder lernen, wie dekadent und verdorben das Leben in der Villa Limona ist. Publius Pollius Felix ist hinter allem her, was eine Palla trägt, er schläft mit fast jedem weiblichen G
This book is mistitled. It should have been 'Satyr of Surrentum' or 'Lecher of Surrentum' or 'Nymphomaniac of Surrentum' since it's about a man who sleeps with most women in Naples and is so respected and above the law that no one can say or do anything (least of all the women). An abuse of power over women leads Flavia, the lead character to reassess that her infatuation is not a nice man. The pedophile fascination is disturbing. But I guess this is a good way of teaching appropriate boundaries ...more
Jul 15, 2013 Leah rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Older Children/Teens into Mysteries
Recommended to Leah by: My Teacher - Mrs Collins
I found this one a bit too ridiculous. The whole romance part was childish, making me dislike Flavia's character again. Plus all the suicide attempts were stupid, with people over-reacting. Overall, it just felt too dramatic.

I loved the pre-tense of the children finding out the murderer who was trying to poison Pulchra's mother, and the mystery surrounding that was indeed exciting.

Yet, the whole thing was a bit childish. Her mother trying to poison herself for not feeling loved by her husband,
I still have a hard time picturing Lawrence's intended readership. The themes she touches on are often more mature that the age-appeal implied by the packaging of the US versions. Here the major themes were love and infidelity with a lot of hanky-panky being indulged in by one adult married character. I know an 11 year old in Roman times was close to marriageable age but do parents of today's 10-12 year olds want them reading about this? Older kids usually don't like reading books with "little ...more
John Bodenman
This book is dirty and romantic in a naughty kind of way
This was an average book. There was good mystery and action, but a lot of love and unacceptable stuff. As the name suggests, there was something to do with Sirens ( singing women who attract men), but the author created her own "Siren". Even though there was romance, the book was tolerable because it had a good plot and a satisfying ending and answer. A good book, but a bit of a letdown compare to the rest of the series.
Vicki Cline
Back in Ostia, Flavia receives a letter from her friend Pulchra, of the Villa Limona, where they all stayed after the eruption of Vesuvius. Pulchra thinks her mother is being poisoned and begs Flavia and the others to find out who is doing it. At the villa, Flavia meets Tranquillus, the boy to whom her father intends to betroth her. A surprising ending, in more ways than one.
Aug 04, 2011 D added it
This is a good example of why to pre read a book before your kids!! Heavy issues here and best to know beforehand if you want to go there - wouldn't recommend it for younger readers. Shows an immoral lifestyle and the philosophy that enables it . However it does also show the results of that lifestyle and how it hurts others.
Definitely a coming of age book, not just for Flavia the character but for the series. Complex themes and characters, capturing the decadence of the Roman Empire. Having read it I can understand why Caroline Lawrence recommended it to me.
Mar 13, 2008 Audrey rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: T
This is a romantic book that i personily luved!
It had action but it had soft spots also.
I am sure that anyone between the ages of 9 and 11 would luv this book!
#XI in a young adult series set around the 79 AD eruption of Vesuvius. My 6th graders love these, and so do I!
This one was a little more racy than I was prepared for my 9 year old to read.
YA for implicit sex. Can skip this one and still follow the storyline.
Ah, first love, crushes, & the awakening of "those feelings."
Mrs. Roy
LOVED the beginnings of the Flavia/Flaccus relationship!!
Anna Richards
My favourite Roman Mystery so far - it's totally gripping!
Leyou added it
Feb 17, 2015
Helen Patterson
Helen Patterson marked it as to-read
Feb 15, 2015
Sash Russell
Sash Russell marked it as to-read
Feb 04, 2015
Vissie added it
Feb 04, 2015
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Caroline Lawrence won a scholarship to Cambridge to read Classical Archaeology, then did a degree in Hebrew and Jewish studies at University College London. She now lives in London with her English husband and teaches Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Art and French to children.

* Roman Mysteries
Western Mysteries
More about Caroline Lawrence...

Other Books in the Series

The Roman Mysteries (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • The Thieves of Ostia (Roman Mysteries, #1)
  • The Secrets of Vesuvius (Roman Mysteries, #2)
  • The Pirates of Pompeii (Roman Mysteries, #3)
  • The Assassins of Rome (Roman Mysteries, #4)
  • The Dolphins of Laurentum (The Roman Mysteries, #5)
  • The Twelve Tasks of Flavia Gemina (The Roman Mysteries, #6)
  • The Enemies of Jupiter (The Roman Mysteries, #7)
  • The Gladiators from Capua (The Roman Mysteries, #8)
  • The Colossus of Rhodes (Roman Mysteries, #9)
  • The Fugitive from Corinth (The Roman Mysteries, #10)
The Thieves of Ostia (Roman Mysteries, #1) The Secrets of Vesuvius (Roman Mysteries, #2) The Pirates of Pompeii (Roman Mysteries, #3) The Dolphins of Laurentum (The Roman Mysteries, #5) The Assassins of Rome (Roman Mysteries, #4)

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