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