Before he became the sainted church father of Christianity, Augustine of Hippo began a love affair with a young woman whose name has been lost to history. They were together for over thirteen years, and she bore him a son. This is her story.
She met Augustine in Carthage when she was just seventeen years old. She was the daughter of a tile-layer. He was a student and the heir to a fortune. They fell in love, despite her lower station and Augustine’s dreams of greatness. Their passion was strong, but the only position in his life that was available to her was as his concubine. When Augustine’s ambition and family compelled him to disown his relationship with the her, X was thrust into a devastating reality as she was torn from her son and sent away to her native Africa.
A reflection of what it means to love and lose, this novel paints a gripping and raw portrait of ancient culture, appealing to historical fiction fans while deftly exploring one woman’s search for identity and happiness within very limited circumstances.
This was a completely different book than I normally read, but after reading the first couple of chapters, I became immersed in this story.
The story of Augustine and X was so interesting. I loved “Little Bird” and the way she lived her life. She’s a strong character and makes it clear to her aunt and uncle that she will not be forced into a marriage as society dictates. Instead, she chooses to follow her heart and become a concubine to Augustine.
Given the time period, this was not an uncommon practice. Her decision was based on two things, the fact that she loved him and that they couldn’t wed due to her station in life.
She suffered so much loss during her life that I was moved to tears a few times. The loss of her father, her son and finally Augustine.
The author made me want to learn more about Augustine’s life, philosophy, the woman he loved and their son.
This book is better suited to a mature reader.
I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest opinion.