Genevieve's Reviews > The Golden Mean

The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon
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's review
Mar 26, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, historical, ancient-greece, 2011-faves

File this one under 'books that are as awesome as their awesome covers.' I loved this. I think Lyon is doing something that is, if not exactly radical, certainly unusual and unexpected in a historical novel about Aristotle and Alexander the Great. This is a very domestic novel, which is not to say that it is safe, quiet, or lacking in incident--rather the opposite--but simply that its domain is personalities, not politics. We see--albeit through Aristotle's eyes--the people who go unmentioned in history, the women and slaves, and we see something of what Aristotle misses in them. Lyon fleshes out an Aristotle and an Alexander who I found quite believable--that is to say, they seemed both like real people and like people capable of the extraordinary things that history records. She also does a great job of portraying what it might have been like to be a human being living in the norms of ancient Greek society, which emerge here as at once harsh and alien and startlingly modern.
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