The Beacon at Alexandria Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Beacon at Alexandria

The Beacon at Alexandria is placed in the 293a.d. Roman Empire, and tells the story of Charis, an amazing young woman who dresses as a eunuch and travels to Alexandria to study her medicine; something she couldn't do if she was not dressed up as a man. Charis, who changes her name to Chariton, apprentices to a Jewish doctor in Alexandria, and learns the art well. After several years of studying, she is forced to leave Alexandria because of religious/political troubles that involve her. She is offered a job working in a military hospital in Thrace, and it is there that her life takes a surprising turn as she comes up against other troubles, and in the end, finds herself at last.
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The review of this Book prepared by a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

In the declining years of the Roman Empire, Charis, the independent and intelligent daughter of a rich official, yearns to become a doctor, but is prevented from doing so by her gender. Masquerading as a eunuch, she flees her home in Ephesus for Alexandria, the world's center of learning, where she apprentices to a Jewish doctor and learns to love her art. Eventually, however, she is drawn into the dangerous politics of the early Christian church; intrigue sweeps her to a Roman outpost in the wilderness of Thrace, where she finds her true destiny.
The review of this Book prepared by Christine Hung

Chapter Analysis of The Beacon at Alexandria

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   upbeat Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Political/social activism    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   general liberal/left wing activism    -   women fighting for rights    -   religious issues Life of a profession:    -   doctor Other aspects:    -   story of "the rich" Family, struggle with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   Father (or standin)    -   Brother Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Job/Profession/Status story    -   Yes Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes Woman's story?    -   Yes Lover is    -   of a different social class

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   doctor Age:    -   20's-30's


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   7 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Greece    -   Turkey    -   Eastern Europe Africa    -   Yes Kind of Africa:    -   Arabic Africa Mountains/Cliffs    -   Yes City?    -   Yes City:    -   dirty, grimy (like New York) Misc setting    -   fort/military installation

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   descript of kissing Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Gillian Bradshaw Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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