Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: September 22, 2015
Genre: Time Travel, Historical Romance
Format: Paperback (ARC)
Obtained via: Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address: Gina Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com
Almost twenty years ago Lisbeth Hastings fell through a well while on an African archaeological dig. On the other side she met, and married the chief lawyer of ancient Carthage, Cyprian Thascius. This was at the time of the early Christian church and embracing his new found faith Cyprian made the decision to send Lisbeth home—to the present day. There she gave birth to a daughter—Maggie—named after Lisbeth’s mother who also, many years before, journeyed through the same cave of swimmers.
Once, because Maggie asked her over and over for her father, Lisbeth tried to reunite her family but the effort failed. Returning to the present she did her best to make a life for her father and her daughter. But she never stopped loving Cyprian.
Nor did Maggie cease to want her father—her family to be together. Now, as a headstrong 18 year old, Maggie has decided she will save her father’s life and bring him and her grandmother to the future. Maggie no sooner makes her way through the Cave of Swimmers than Lisbeth learns what she has done. Along with her father, Maggie’s grandfather, they make their way back to ancient Carthage.
There they find that only a day has passed since they left, but the disease that was destroying the city is even worse. More horrifying though is that Lisbeth’s mother has been accused of killing the proconsul. Now the need for rescue is even more necessary. But Rome will mete out its own brand of justice. Can Lisbeth and Maggie save their family before Rome destroys all?
I’m a huge fan of time travel, but it romance or speculative fiction. I love it when an author devises a unique and believable vehicle for the characters to travel through time and Lynne Gentry accomplished this with a fantastic twist. When I read the chapter where Maggie realizes how the journey back in time actually began I had to read it twice because it was so well done. I had to sit with it while I considered the ramifications of one child’s actions and how it impacted a generation – and it was utterly believable.
Because book 1 (Healer of Carthage) was had strong romantic elements and book 2 (Return to Exile) had moderate romance I anticipated a happy, romantic ending to this trilogy. We cannot always get what we want.
Gentry captures the machinations we read in history of Rome, the class struggles as well as the abuses levied on the early church. I wanted a different ending and was a little disappointed at the one we got, but that is a personal reaction rather than a commentary on a well told story.
Each book in the series is a stand-alone – and you do not necessarily have to read all three. If you do though, it is a series that is best read in order.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.