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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story well told!, 5 Mar. 2004
This review is from: A.D. 62: Pompeii (Paperback)
Rebecca East has managed to pull off the near impossible; she has written a rather good piece of historical literature!
It takes a brave soul to write an historical novel, as rarely can an author get the right mix of fiction and history. More often than not they will become engrossed on superfluous historical detail and the story becomes rather heavy going and little more than an afterthought with characters becoming very one dimensional. On the other side of the coin, although the story is fine, the history is exceptionally inaccurate and heavily distorted to fit around the tale. Here is a rare example of a book that has managed to overcome this all to familiar obstacle.
Ms East has written an enchanting story that manages to harmoniously combine fact and fiction. The adventures of the stranded time traveller Miranda are simply wonderful and this book helped persuade me a trip to Pompeii is in order to walk down the streets so beautifully described in the book.
The story revolves around ordinary people, in this case the slaves of a household, rather than a significant historical figure and as such stays well clear of trudging down the well-trod path of retelling the life of a well-documented figure. Although Ms West sprinkles a few historical figures of note into her book, they are minor players in the story, a momentary diversion from the narrative, thus leaving the story free of the restraints a known timeline would bring.
AD 62: Pompeii is an enjoyable read, with some strong likeable characters and wonderful plot line, indeed my one and only criticism is that it isn�t long enough! Not wanting to get weighed down in the science fiction aspect of how Miranda ended up back in first century Pompeii is fully understandable, as this is not the focus of the book, but all the same, I would have loved to have had a few more pages devoted to the journey back through history.
Ms East has written a wonderful novel I would recommend to all. The story fuels the imagination from start to finish. Fingers crossed a second book will soon follow!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, 29 Nov. 2007
TeensReadToo "Eat. Drink. Read. Be Merrier." (All Over the US & Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A.D. 62: Pompeii (Paperback)
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.

Reviewed by: Natalie Tsang
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A.D. 62: Pompeii
A.D. 62: Pompeii by Rebecca M. East (Paperback - 7 Feb. 2003)
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