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Eve Ottenberg[Le Guin] focuses this engaging novel on Aeneas's Latin wife, who is only sketchily depicted in the epic poem. In simple, stately prose that does no violence to Vergil's work, Le Guin presents the rough, unpretentious dignity of the ancient pagans. She also portrays daily life in the Bronze Age, some time after the 13th century B.C., when duty and responsibility glue the community together…there is plenty of action in Lavinia. Even her happy marriage is filled with musings cleverly ancient yet modern—most compellingly on the expectations of women. By telling this story from its heroine's clear, forthright perspective, Le Guin has taken the cipher that is Vergil's Lavinia and given her a new life.
—The Washington Post