A senator with a death wish, a reluctant bride, an indebted former soldier, a social outcast with an obsession for horses, a young man stung by unrequited love, a young woman in labor at the worst of times, a whore with the curse of foresight and her scrappy older sisters who fights for survival -what do they all have in common? They are characters in Pompeii on that fateful fall day, and all are caught in the snare of Vesuvius when it erupts. All are trapped in a terror they cannot understand. Some flee and beat the volcano’s long reach. Others flee but are not so lucky, while still others accept their fate at home, watching and waiting as death comes for them.
All the stories in this book are effortlessly woven together by six different authors, which makes this book extraordinary. Most characters appear in each story, their tales overlapping and continuing from changing perspectives. Yet the characters remain true despite the various authors. Many of the people, names, and locations are authentic, and the stories combine to provide an insider’s look into that terrifying day. A chance to see these characters through changing view points keeps readers engaged as each person has their own demons to face when the sky suddenly erupts. Their lives, which were so very different from one another before, now coalesce as they battle to survive.
Diana of the Cornelii was probably my favorite. Her caustic wit, independent spirit, and fearless perseverance made her trip over the rubble and through the ash captivating, and her verbal sparing with the senator added a degree of levity to an otherwise harrowing tale.
If you’re looking for a book that will keep you on your toes, be sure to check this one out.
Amazon link is here.