Reviewed By: Harriet Klausner
Amazon US PB Amazon US HC Amazon Canada PB Amazon Canada HC
Judith Tarr , Harry Turtledove
Tor, Sep 1999, $24.95, 508 pp.
Divorcee Nicole Gunther Perrin raises her two children by herself while working as an attorney. Recently, her firm passed her over and promoted a male lawyer to a job she feels she earned. She was already angry with most males after her ex-spouse left her for a younger piece of flesh and never sends his child support payments on time. The loss of her baby-sitter leaves a weary Nicole wistfully wishing upon the statues of the Roman Gods Vesper and Vespera that they transport her to Carnuntum.
No one has worshipped these two Gods for over a millennium. They decide to reward the first person to call on them in all that time by granting her wish. When Nicole awakens, she finds herself living as a tavern keeper in the Roman frontier town of Carnuntum. She quickly learns that 170 AD has its share of vices as much as 1999 America does. Women remain second class citizens and slavery abounds. Hygiene is non-existent. In spite of all this, Nicole notices that most people seem happy with their lot in life and she hopes to do likewise.
HOUSEHOLD GODS centers on the belief that no place or time is perfect, but society and its individuals must strive to correcting its woes. Nicole learns that lesson rather quickly through her time travel adventure. Still, she remains a strong survivor whether she dwells in the present era or in a dinky backwater Roman town almost two millenniums ago. The audience will love this tale, especially the in depth look at daily living in the Roman Empire outer perimeter. Judith Tarr and Harry Turtledove combine their immense skills on a fascinating, thought-provoking and unforgettable novel that is sure to provide them with much acclaim.
Reprinted with permission. Do Not repost without permission from the author, Harriet Klausner