Wednesday, February 11, 2009

February 2009 Book Club Meeting

Summary: Nefertiti and her younger sister, Mutnodjmet, have been raised in a powerful family that has provided wives to the rulers of Egypt for centuries. Ambitious, charismatic, and beautiful, Nefertiti is destined to marry Amunhotep, an unstable young pharaoh. It is hoped that her strong personality will temper the young ruler’s heretical desire to forsake Egypt’s ancient gods.

From the moment of her arrival in Thebes, Nefertiti is beloved by the people but fails to see that powerful priests are plotting against her husband’s rule. The only person brave enough to warn the queen is her younger sister, yet remaining loyal to Nefertiti will force Mutnodjmet into a dangerous political game; one that could cost her everything she holds dear. -- Three Rivers Press

I have been anxiously awaiting our February book club meeting for months. Last fall, I was fortunate enough to schedule an author chat with Michelle Moran, author of NEFERTITI. I read her second novel THE HERETIC QUEEN and absolutely loved it (my review), so I pretty much knew that I was going to enjoy NEFERTITI. I can honestly say that I was not disappointed.

My good friend Melissa (and member of my book club) read and reviewed NEFERTITI last year. Since she did such a wonderful job with her review, I didn't feel like I really needed to write another one and post it here. Suffice it to say that all of us thoroughly enjoyed NEFERTITI and appreciated Ms. Moran's writing.

I did print out the discussion questions, but we didn't have the chance to go through them one by one. Our discussion was much shorter than usual because the author chat was part of our meeting. I do think our discussion did touch on many of the topics that were raised in the questions, however. One thing I found interesting was learning how my friends interpreted some of the characters' behaviors.

Ms. Moran is one of the nicest authors that I've had the opportunity to talk with. Not only did she spend quite a bit of time discussing NEFERTITI with us, but she also sent the entire book club autographed bookmarks. I loved hearing her describe how she gets her ideas for her novels, and I'm just blown away by how much research she conducts (about six months or so.) I especially enjoyed learning how she developed the historical characters in her novels when she has little if any information about their personalities.

Since I've read both of her novels and am dying for more, I had to ask when her next book will be available. CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER will be available this September (only seven more months.) I also asked her what is in the works. She is currently writing on a book about Chaucer and plans to write a future novel on Madame Tussaud!

Here's the book trailer for CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER: (*please note: the cover is a stand-in until the real cover comes out in several months)

Next month, we will be reading THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN by Garth Stein. I am very excited about our March selection since I've seen this book everywhere and have read so many wonderful reviews for it. It looks like it's going to make for a wonderful discussion.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps this makes me a bit selfish, but I'm SO glad she's moving out of ancient Egypt into my period! More fabulous writers focusing on medieval England makes for a very happy Meghan.

I'm sure I'll still love Cleopatra's Daughter though. Can't wait for September!

Anonymous said...

Your book club sounds like so much fun!

Anonymous said...

I will definitely read Nefertiti and the sequels. I LOVE ancient Egypt and look forward to spending some time with these women. Thanks for the great review.

Michelle Moran said...

Thank you so much for inviting me to speak with your book group. What a wonderful group of women! It made me wish I could be there in person :]