Household Gods

Household Gods

Book - 1999
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When a troubled housewife awakens one morning as a tavernkeeper in the Roman frontier town of Carnuntum around 170 A.D., she must face plague and war in order to survive and prosper in her new life.
Publisher: New York : Tom Doherty Associates, 1999.
ISBN: 9780312864873
Characteristics: 508 p. ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Turtledove, Harry


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Apr 19, 2017

The authors have plainly done their research, and their picture of late Roman civilization is quite good. And they are decent writers. The text flows well and the descriptions are clear and vivid.

Unfortunately the main character, Nicole, is an obnoxious twit, "merely a vehicle for the authors to satirize contemporary attitudes" as the School LIbrary Journal says above. And unlike the Journal, I don't see that she improves in any way; certainly she doesn't deepen. Everything that happens to her in the past is presented with a smug righteousness on the authors' part: she deserved this, she'll only get a clue if hit over the head with it! And maybe the authors think she's a better person at the end, but for me, she ends as paper-thin as she began, still a caricature.

For a very much more eloquent version of this comment, see Jo Walton's review on, "I'd love this book if I didn't loathe the protagonist".

Dec 21, 2011

A great read about a modern, divorced, non-drinking working woman (mother of two) who is angry with her Ex and his bimbo. She goes to bed and awakes to find herself in ancient times, in the body of a widowed tavern keeper /mother of two and the owner of a female slave. Fascinating watching her adapt to life in the past.. and of course there is an interesting ending... It makes one re-examine our preconceived notions.

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