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Anna Patricio is a lover of ancient history, with a particular interest in Egypt, Israel, Greece, and Rome. She is also intrigued by the Ancient Near East, though she has not delved too much into it but hopes to one day.
She undertook formal studies in Ancient History at Macquarie University. She focused mostly on Egyptology and Jewish-Christian Studies, alongside a couple of Greco-Roman units, and one on Archaeology. Though she knew there were very limited job openings for ancient history graduates, she pursued her degree anyway as it was something she had always been passionate about.
Then, about a year after her graduation, the idea to tackle historical fiction appeared in her head, and she began happily pounding away on her laptop. Asenath is her first novel.
Recently, she traveled to Cairo, Israel, and Jordan. She plans to return to Egypt soon, and see more of it. In the past, she has also been to Athens and Rome.
Anna is currently working on a second novel which still takes place in Ancient Egypt, but hundreds of years after Asenath.
on Feb. 22, 2012 :
I usually avoid reading novels about Biblical figures because they never seem to match my idea of what those figures are like, but there was something about "Asenath" that made me really want to read this one.
Told through the eyes of Asenath, one quickly develops a connection with her. She's strong, captivating, innocent and curious, and most of all, she has a beautiful heart. At a young age, she was captured and enslaved, then was adopted by an Egyptian priest and priestess. Her life runs parallel to Joseph's and it only seems natural that she would befriend him. This creates a captivating and quite well written love story that brings to life Egypt during the time of Joseph and makes the reader feel like they are there and involved instead of "watching" from the sidelines.
There were a few times this novel didn't ring authentic for me. I couldn't help but wonder if women really were allowed to travel alone or with only one male? I got the sense that it was "normal" then, but it didn't feel "right" to me. I kept wondering why women weren't required to protect their virtue like they did later on in history. I also had trouble getting used to modern language being used in a story of a different time period. One example that sticks out in my mind was when Asenath was "hanging out" with her animals. I would find that after allowing myself to be "transported" back to that time, sometimes the 21st century phrases would break the "mood" for me and I'd remember I was reading a book.
These details shouldn't dissuade one from reading "Asenath", but it did keep me from rating this as a 5 star book. The story itself was very captivating and most definitely worth reading! Anna Patricia did a wonderful job capturing the essence of what I would imagine Joseph and Asenath to be like.
The author provided me an ecopy of this book to honestly review.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Jan. 20, 2012 :
As many of you know from reading my reviews of other Biblical Fiction, it is one of my favorite genres. I knew I was in for a treat when I picked up Asenath, as it told the story of Joseph's wife, which is something I've thought would make an excellent book for a while now.
The debut book of new author, Anna Patricio, was exceptional. I absolutely loved how much history was packed into it, while at the same time it told the tender, trying story of the wife of Joseph. It was excellent.
The writing style was smooth and easy to read, though I did find a few scenes to end a bit suddenly. This didn't hinder me from enjoying the story though. For being a debut, it was very well written and impressed me.
Asenath was a great character who was easy to relate to. I really liked watching her and Joseph's relationship develop. The turmoil she goes through during the trials Joseph has to face were heart-wrenching. Patricio did a wonderful job of making her readers ache for her characters. Joseph was also an excellent character who I thought was perfectly created. It wasn't hard at all to like this character.
When taken hostage, one of their captors asks a girl how old she is, and when she replies "nine" he tells her that's perfect and that at the red moon she will become his wife. When she asks what the "red moon" is, the man tells her that another lady will inform her and it is later insinuated that it is her first monthly.
There is a scene where a woman in the next room is being raped. There is no description, only that the girl can hear lots of screams.
When Potipher's wife tries to seduce Joseph, it says she wore a dress that "left almost nothing to the imagination.".
There is one saying of "What in Seth's damnable balls was he thinking?", Seth being a god.
One scene has a wife joining her husband while he bathes and it says she helped him scrub down. Nothing is described or implied sensually.
There are two uses of the word "b****", both uses frowned upon and one rebuked.
As mentioned above, damnable was also used.
All around, I loved this book and highly recommend it to all lovers of Biblical fiction, or to those of you who would enjoy sitting back and reading a great story set in ancient Egypt. You won't be disappointed!
(reviewed long after purchase)