Neferiti by Michelle Moran

Neferiti by Michelle Moran is the fictional accounting of Nefertiti’s rise to power in Egypt and her marriage but the tale is told from the view point of Mutny, Nefertiti’s half-sister and handmaiden.  Nefertiti was chosen to be a wife of Akhenhapten by her father and aunt, but it is through her own political maneuverings and beauty that she rises to Chief Wife.  Nefertiti and Akhenhapten changed the face of history forever.  They destroyed the temples to the gods that Egyptians had worshiped for 2,000 years, forcing the people to worship Aten, a lessor known god.  Ignoring tradition, Nefertiti changed the capital city, the role of the Chief Wife and rose to be crowned the first woman Pharoh.  Mutny is the quiet, not as beautiful sister who is trapped in a world she doesn’t like, forced to be a spy for her sister to keep the family in power.

Several years ago I had the chance to see Nefertiti’s bust in person and have been intrigued by this woman ever since.  The story is well told about the political machinations that must have occurred by the powerful families in Egypt’s upper class.  Mutny is a likable character who understands the bonds of family and does everything she can to assist her family to be remembered in the eternities.  Eventually, she falls in love with the wrong man (a general in the army who the Pharoh feels threatened by) and she must choose between staying with her family and leaving with the man she loves.

Several events transpire that cause Mutny to leave the palace of the Pharoh but despite the selfish behavior of her sister Nefertiti, when tragedy threatens the kingdom, she returns to assist her family.  This is how it is with family, you irritate each other and things don’t happen in the best way for everyone but when needed, you take care of them regardless of past acts.

This book was a fast read for me as the characters are compellingly real and the author does an amazing job of showing the power and mistakes made by Nefertiti.  The research performed by the author is incredible and the details of the everyday lives of the characters is amazing.  I couldn’t put it down and I highly recommend this book!

Rating: 1

ISBN: 0307718700

Format: Paperbook

Publisher: Crown

Stress Reading

Hello, my name is Jessica and I am a stress reader.  All of us have stress but if you are like me it ebbs and flows, sometimes I have a lot and sometimes I have a little.  I have noticed that when things start getting stressful for me, I retreat into books.  I will read instead of doing what needs to be done, I will read until the early hours of the morning when I should be sleeping, and I will read to the exclusion of what is not stressful. It was just four years ago that I realized this and I now have to be careful and watch myself.

The reading to the exclusion is sneaky, its not like I just suddenly drop everything and read, it slowly builds until I realize that I have stayed up until 3 am for the third night in a row.  Many “experts” have referred to this type of behavior as “escapism”. (They also say this why women read romance novels in the first place, to escape their reality.) Of course, this type of behavior adds to my stress.  Less sleep makes me grumpier, not able to think as clearly, and because I am ignoring the stuff I should be doing  my workload grows.

Once I realize I am in this behavior again I try to set rules or guidelines to my reading allowances. (You know, if I clean the bathroom I can read for thirty minutes.) I would like to report that I am really good about following my own rules but the truth is I am so-so with it. (I will clean the bathroom and then read for 2 hours.) If I am being really bad, then I have to not allow myself to read during the day.

I try to justify my behavior in my mind but telling myself that at least I don’t have a substance abuse problem or I don’t overeat, but the reality is when it interferes with my ability to function like I should, it is just a destructive (but a whole lot more fun).  That being said, I don’t think it is bad to read as a stress relief (goodness knows I do it, can we say eighteen novels since school started three weeks ago) and it is healthy to have stress relievers and to take “me” time. Honestly, I can’t imagine not reading before I go to bed.

Do you stress read? What do you do to limit yourself/keep yourself in line?

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