A tender love story set in a first century household in Pompeii; historical fiction with a touch of fantasy. The heroine tells stories and makes prophecies to seek love and win her freedom. This is a much kinder and gentler Rome than the one in the HBO mini series!
I was so excited to finally get this book on PBS, but have been disappointed with it ever since. The premise is SO good, but the writing really falls short. There is no doubt the author did an amazing job researching, but at many times in the book I felt lectured at on ancient Pompeii, instead of these bits of information seamlessly integrated into the story. What I found most annoying was the fact that she would repeat herself over and over again on small historical details, often using the same exact sentences again and again. Very irritating. If you can get past the poor writing and constant repeating, there is a good story line in here--good luck!
Imagine getting stranded in Ancient Rome! That's what happens to Miranda in Rebecca East's A. D. 62: POMPEII. Miranda has never felt that she belonged in the 21st century, and when a group of researchers approach her about a short trip to the past, she agrees.
Of course, things don't go as planned. First, she is sold to a wealthy family as a house slave and then her time travel device malfunctions. At first, she is resigned to a life of menial labor, but gradually tries to improve her position by telling stories and using her historical knowledge to make prophecies. Miranda cleverly changes well-known stories such as fairy tales and Shakespeare to not only inspire herself but also to champion women's and slaves' rights. As Miranda proves her value, she gains the love and trust of her master and his daughter and provokes the vicious jealousy of his wife.
In this hybrid romance, history, and fantasy novel, the heroine overcomes several trials and finally finds herself a place in the world.
The highlight of this book is its richly historical background. Rebecca East gives wonderful descriptions of the architecture, food, and customs of ancient Pompeii. With the exception of Miranda, the characters never seem to be modern people forced into togas, but people who live in a different culture from our own.
A twenty-first century woman is stranded in first century Pompeii when a time travel experiment goes awry. She ends up being sold as a slave to a wealthy family. Will she be able to find her back to her own time, or be stranded in Pompeii?