Rebecca's Reviews > Pilate's Wife

Pilate's Wife by Antoinette May
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's review
Aug 09, 2009

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Recommended for: fans of ancient Roman history
Read in August, 2009

I didn’t get to this book when I picked it up at the beach in May, so I saved it for a fun read after my statistics exam. I love historical fiction about ancient Rome, and this book lived up to my expectations. The book follows the life and tragedies of Claudia, the wife of Pontius Pilate. Claudia travels with her family and then with her husband all across the Roman empire, and I appreciated May’s detailed descriptions of Antioch, Alexandria, Rome, and Jerusalem among other locales. Most of the book centers on Claudia and her (almost always) devastating experiences of the political intrigues of Roman imperial life. If you loved the HBO series Rome, you will enjoy this book. But be warned, just like the HBO series, this book does not hold back when it comes to the brutal entertainment choices and sexual preferences of Romans at the time. Jesus, Mary, and Mary Magdalene don’t appear as characters until towards the end of the book. Even though it’s fiction, I found it refreshing to be reminded how Judaism as well as Jesus and his followers (among other ‘zealots’) might have been perceived by the Romans at the time. Though no Pulitzer Prize winner, overall, Pilate’s Wife was an entertaining, fast-paced read with great historical drama.
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