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Household Gods/Tarr, Judith/ /Paper/0812564669/S050-C1
"I believed it all - the torchlit streets and pungent taverns, the cool marble courtyards, the filthy, verminous beds, the wine as thick and sweet as syrup. All this and a fascinating protagonist as well. Nicole Perrin manages to be vulnerable and intrepid at the same time. She's a real person. Thanks to the skills of Tarr and Turtledove, the two worlds she inhabits are just as real." - Morgan Llywelyn.
Nicole Gunther-Perrin is a modern young professional, proud of her legal skills but weary of the daily grind, of childcare, and of sexist coworkers and her deadbeat ex-husband. Then after one exceptionally awful day, she awakens to find herself in a different life, that of a widowed tavernkeeper on the Roman frontier around A.D. 170.
Delighted at first, she quickly begins to realize that her new world is as complicated as her old one. Violence, dirt, and pain are everywhere; slavery is commonplace, gladiators kill for sport, and drunkenness is taken for granted. Yet, somehow, people manage to face life everyday with humour and good will.
No quitter, Nicole manages to adapt, despite endless worry about the fate of her children "back" in the twentieth century. Then plague sweeps through Carnuntum, followed by brutal war. Amidst pain and loss on a level she had never imagined, Nicole must find reserves of the sort of strength she had never known.