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

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  576 Ratings  ·  24 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
Jul 15, 2013 Leah rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Older Children/Teens into Mysteries
Recommended to Leah by: My Teacher - Mrs Collins
Shelves: childrens
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,
Diana Sandberg
May 25, 2012 Diana Sandberg rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 10, 2011 sabisteb rated it it was amazing
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
Emma Wallace
Feb 06, 2016 Emma Wallace rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
I am actually finding it hard to articulate my experience of this- having to reconsider how transitional gladiators from Capua was, I never realised the beauty of Lawrence's Narnian depiction of childhood was until she positioned them within this corruptible, licentious environment while the Freudian sexual undercurrents was uncomfortable even for an 18 year old I am glad she retained the platonic affections of the central 4 and actually enjoyed the Austian semantics of foreshadowing their roman ...more
Matilda Rose
Aug 05, 2015 Matilda Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: William + Lavinia
In the Bay of Naples in the summer, Flavia and her friends visit their rich friend Pulchra at the luxurious Villa Limona. Beneath all the loveliness of the situation, a poisoner lies hidden amongst the guests, attempting murder on Pulchra's mother, Polla.

With help from Tranquillus, Flavia's future husband, and Pulchra, Flavia and her friends discover that no one is trying to poison Polla - apart from..


As confusing as it sounds, Flavia, Jonathan, Nubia, Lupus, Tranquillus and Pulchra solv
Aug 28, 2009 Phair rated it really liked it
Shelves: classical-era
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
Sep 03, 2014 Chroniclesoftania rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 08, 2013 Ujwals rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 22, 2016 Lori rated it did not like it
I might give this book one and a half stars - really hated most of it until the very end. Last two scrolls finally had a good message. I would not recommend this one, but we may read the next couple (because we already have them) and see if the series ever goes back to being as good as the first several books.
Vicki Cline
Jul 10, 2012 Vicki Cline rated it really liked it
Shelves: roman-mysteries
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.
Apr 08, 2015 Tchipakkan rated it it was amazing
Laurence does not disappoint. The characters continue to develop in a totally natural way. It's a joy to watch each of them grow. I am fascinated by the hints of Nubia's spiritual connection with animals. The only downside is approaching the end of the series.
Nov 14, 2009 Sandi rated it really liked it
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.
Akira Shizuku
Jun 17, 2016 Akira Shizuku rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 07, 2009 Nathalie rated it really liked it
Shelves: latin-classroom
#XI in a young adult series set around the 79 AD eruption of Vesuvius. My 6th graders love these, and so do I!
Mar 13, 2008 Audrey rated it it was amazing
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!
Izzie rated it it was amazing
Mar 11, 2017
Annie rated it it was amazing
Apr 05, 2012
Jack rated it it was amazing
Nov 15, 2012
Shannon Gladwin
Shannon Gladwin rated it really liked it
Apr 06, 2013
Brooke rated it really liked it
Mar 29, 2015
Esther rated it it was amazing
Jan 12, 2016
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Elise rated it it was amazing
Mar 04, 2014
Amy rated it really liked it
Mar 09, 2010
Sophie Cronshaw
Sophie Cronshaw rated it really liked it
Feb 19, 2014
Otherwyrld rated it liked it
Jul 26, 2012
Anna Gartside
Anna Gartside rated it it was ok
Dec 30, 2011
Sioned rated it it was amazing
May 04, 2012
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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)

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