As a young woman in Ancient Greece, Myrto is doubly cursed to have been born a mortal and a female. When her father dies leaving no dowry for her to marry, she wonders whether her brother will find her a husband or sell her into slavery. Although she'd rather have a kind master than a cruel husband, her brother decides to give Myrto to his former teacher Socrates as a second wife.

Being a second wife is not an easy proposition for Myrto, and while her new husband treats her kindly, his first wife Xanthippe is nothing but cruel. Myrto spends much of her time away from home in an attempt to avoid being alone with the terrifying Xanthippe, and soon strikes up an intellectual friendship with her husband's colleague, Plato. Although she wants nothing more than a friend, he has designs on more.

Now Myrto must discover where she belongs in this quickly changing world. Will she accept the lot she has been given by her family, succumb to romantic love, or pave the way for women of the future to live better—less subjugated—lives? As her personal journey through Ancient Greek metaphysics unfolds, will she always be defined by her relationships with men, or will she discover the joy of being Just Myrto?

"Laurie Gray crafts a compelling and appealing narrator who shows that despite societal constraints, an individual can create her own life. Complete with delightful renderings of Socratic dialogue and thoughtful looks into the customs and knowledge of the time, Just Myrto is a lively story of some of the most important people of the Classical period of ancient Greece. The depth of Gray’s research shows in the accuracy of the details of daily life, yet doesn’t interfere with the story or get in the way of the readers’ interest in the characters."
--Tracy Barrett, author of Dark of the Moon

"What I loved most about this book is how the author resists the temptation of the romantic master narrative. Myrto develops great strength as she learns to think for herself. In fact, I've never seen a better depiction of growth in a young woman -- from vulnerability and anxiety to confidence and courage.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in ancient Greek culture and in a riveting story of female empowerment."
~Shirley Hershey Showalter, author of Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World, and former president of Goshen College.

“Teens—and adults—interested in ancient Greece from a social and intellectual perspective will find this novel richly rewarding, as will fans of biography and readers who appreciate a “human face” for famous names. In addition, JUST MYRTO offers intriguing glimpses of women’s lives in ancient Greece, a notoriously male-centered society; it should find a place in feminist literature. Laurie Gray has gracefully met several major challenges in writing this unusual book, and her readers will thank her for a horizon-broadening experience.” ~ Elsa Marston, author of THE COMPASSIONATE WARRIOR: ABD EL-KADER OF ALGERIA, and SANTA CLAUS IN BAGHDAD AND OTHER STORIES ABOUT TEENS IN THE ARAB WORLD

"An unusual, quiet historical novel....The majority of this book is an examination of Socratic philosophy, resulting in a story...[with]
incredible intellectual growth on the part of the protagonist. This...tale
should appeal to thinkers and fans of ancient historical fiction."
~ Kirkus Reviews

“Readers will appreciate Myrto’s growth from faint of heart to bold,
impassioned woman. Most likely, the audience for this novel will be those
studying ancient Greece and the Socratic method.”
~ VOYA, 3Q 2P

"I really enjoyed how she fell in love with Socrates over time. Seeing her change in perspective towards him as the story progressed. I liked seeing the comparison of his teachings, opening the mind, compared with Myrto's thoughts about him and all the other characters as well."
~ Olivia, YALSA Teens' Top Ten Recommendation

"I loved watching [Myrto] grow and mature into the strong, smart, independent woman she becomes and that comes from her following her own heart and then having the courage to move forward."
~ Sabrina's Paranormal Palace Blog

"First, let me say that it is SO WEIRD to have an ancient, historical, wizened figure as a normal, everyday character. Socrates is one of the most renowned philosophers in all of history, not just another man. And Plato is the genius philosopher guy, not some hot young guy. And yet, here they were, just normal people doing normal Ancient Greek things....I still very much enjoyed this will definitely appeal to fans of historical fiction, especially if you like the Ancient Greek time period."
~ The Nerd Herd Reads Blog

"Lush with setting and historic mood this is a rich example of what
historical fiction ought to be and fits well into the New Adult genre." ~ Booklist

Education Guide for grades 9-10 and 11-12 using Common Core State Standards.

Laurie Gray has worked as a high school teacher, a deputy prosecuting attorney, and the founder of Socratic Parenting LLC ( In addition to writing, speaking and consulting, Laurie currently works as a bilingual child forensic interviewer at her local Child Advocacy Center and as an adjunct professor of criminal sciences at Indiana Tech. She has served on the faculty of the National Symposium for Child Abuse in Huntsville, Alabama, annually since 2009. Her debut novel Summer Sanctuary (Luminis Books/2010) received a Moon Beam Gold Medal for excellence in young adult fiction and was named a 2011 Indiana Best Book Finalist. Her third young adult novel Just Myrto (Luminis Books/2014) will carry readers back to ancient Greece to meet Socrates, Laurie’s favorite teacher of all times.

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More Books by this Author
Summer Sanctuary
Gold Medalist 2010 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards Finalist - 2011 Best Book of Indiana
Maybe I Will
It's not about sex.
A Simple Guide to Socratic Parenting
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CategoryChildrens - Teens
Publication Date2014-05-01
Publication StatusIn Print
Trim Size5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Page Count200

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