April Helms's Reviews > Lavinia

Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin
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's review
May 26, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: fantasy
Recommended for: adults
Read in May, 2008

The premise of the story is that it takes part of the Aenid by Virgil, and tells it from Lavinia's point of view. The result was a bit disappointing. There was a lot to like -- loved the research done on the time, and how it was NOT set in an opulent kingdom, but a realistic-feeling provincial, even poor area. Also, when LeGuin is on a role, her words and word images are poetry themselves. She creates a sympathetic character in Lavinia, who's plight could define the phrase "caught between a rock and a hard place." Lavinia goes from meek, unquestioning maiden to someone who learns to stand up for herself and lead others.

The disappointing aspects were that the jumps in time in the narration were a bit jarring. Especially towards the beginning, I had a hard time pinpointing what time in the story Lavinia was talking about. The beginning also was too weighty and long, too slow. I think 30-50 pages could have been trimmed from the beginning, and many of the problems could have been solved.
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