Time travel is possible. Theoretically, at least, in the story of A.D. 62: Pompeii. In fact, this novel really does transport readers back in time.
Strong attention to detail combined with a thorough knowledge of ancient Roman customs brings Pompeii to life in all its vivid brilliance. Author Rebecca East’s plotting skills move the storyline at a logical place so that even when there are surprises, they seem to occur naturally. The delicately distasteful subject of slavery is adroitly handled to illustrate that given the right circumstance, even the most perfidious actions can become accepted by otherwise “good” people. Occasionally the author lapses into an overindulgence in reiterating characters thoughts and feelings. The repetition is used to try to drive home certain points and could do with a bit lighter touch.
Overall, the love story of a modern woman and an A.D. 62 Roman man is well-handled. It is appropriately terrible and touching in all the right places, as romance is in real life. The lessons of equality and choice in a relationship that the plot teaches, while greatly magnified by the surrounding circumstances, are nonetheless prescient for any couple in any time.
Rebecca East has written a novel that any historical fiction lover will enjoy. Sit down, make yourself comfortable, and prepare to visit the distant past in this enjoyable read.