An intimate look at family life in the ancient world through the eyes of a modern woman who is stranded in the past, and sold into slavery in a wealthy household in Pompeii.
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A. D. 62: Pompeii, a novel
A twenty-first century woman finds herself stranded in first century Rome where she is sold to a wealthy family in Pompeii as a house slave. This situation provides her with an intimate, Upstairs / Downstairs perspective on household life in the ancient world. At first she does menial work, but as time passes she improves her situation by telling stories and making prophecies. She draws upon stories that range from the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen to Shakespeare's plays. As her influence over the family grows, she wins the love of her master and his daughter and provokes the vengeful jealousy of his wife. In this gentle fable about the power of stories to change people's lives, the literate heroine uses words and images from fairy tales, films, plays and poems to argue for the rights of women and the humanity of slaves, and to inspire herself and others to be courageous and independent. As time passes, Miranda's life becomes as mythic as the stories she tells. In a first person narrative that is part adventure, part romance, and part fantasy, the strong, intelligent heroine triumphs over adversity and makes a place for herself in the world of the past. Her story is interwoven with events that actually occurred in Pompeii when it was still a vibrant city living in the shadow of Vesuvius.
"My Shakespeare-loving parents named me Miranda; and like my namesake, I longed for distant worlds... "