A. D. 62: Pompeii

ISBN: 059526882X
ISBN 13: 9780595268825
By: Rebecca East

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Book Club To Read Currently Reading Fiction Historical Historical Fiction History Religion Politics Culture Nook Romance Time Travel To Read

About this book

A twenty-first century woman is stranded in first century Pompeii when a time travel experiment goes awry; she is sold to a wealthy family as a house slave. This provides her with an intimate, upstairs/downstairs perspective on household life in ancient times. At first she does menial work, but she improves her situation by telling stories and making prophecies. As her influence grows, she wins the love of her master and his daughter and provokes the vengeful jealousy of his wife.In this gentle fable about the power of stories to change people's lives, the heroine uses sources that include fairy tales and great works of literature to argue for women’s rights and the humanity of slaves, and to inspire herself and others to be resourceful, courageous and independent. Miranda's own life becomes as mythic as the stories she tells. In a narrative that is part adventure, part romance, and part fantasy, the heroine triumphs over adversity and makes a place for herself in the world of the past.Visit the companion web site at www.rebecca-east.com to see ancient works of art that inspired the descriptions of characters and settings.

Reader's Thoughts


not bad... very soft science fiction time travel plot, but the research into Roman life was through enough to make that part enjoyable. Fun way to learn some history. Also try the Roma sub Rosa series featuring a detective in Rome around the time of Cicero.


This book is poorly written so darn much fun.


I finished Rebecca East’s novel “A.D. 62: Pompeii” and I, too, have added Marcus Tullius to my pantheon of Roman heroes. Since he did actually exist, I can hope that he was as noble, sensitive, astute, and talented as Rebecca’s portrayal. Since most of the novel occurred in the Tullius villa and focused on the daily lives of its residents, the novel provided a revealing window on the world of a Roman equestrian family - the operation of their household, their family, their social lives, and the gender and cultural roles each member played in the overall fabric of Roman society. I especially appreciated the fact that Rebecca respected and preserved each characters’ values and did not introduce some startling transformation as a result of the heroine sharing her “liberated” viewpoint of the 21st century.

Jennifer Wardrip

Reviewed by Natalie Tsang for TeensReadToo.comImagine 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.

Chris Lane

History and a good novel all in one.




Good - a Greek/Roman Cinderella story.....


Looking for a good book about time travel to Ancient Rome- Household Gods by Tarr and Turtledove is a much better read!

Tanya Romero

This book could be so good! It was good enough that I did finish it, but really had to force myself a couple times.As others have stated, the author repeats herself. I wondered a couple times if I had lost my place and was rereading a passage. At times the story dragged along slowly but then towards the end seemed rushed and like the author just wanted to finish the book. The last quarter of the book lacked the interesting details found in the first sections.If the writing could be tightened up the book would be very enjoyable.

The Cat In The Hat

I've always been fascinated with Mt Vesuvius and it's turbulent history of erruptions. Read lots of stuff on Pompeii and Herculaenum and the current excavations. Hope to visit there next year while we're in Europe and culminate a childhood dream. Can't wait to see all the mosaics. Roman, Italian, geology.


The setting attracted me to this book but I was immediately sceptical with the time travel theme, although wanting to know if and how Miranda got back kept me going.I enjoyed the setting and the events, particularly meeting Petronius. I was disappointed that Miranda did not save Marcus’s son because of her initial ignorance of the remedy. Maybe the author thought to uphold the myth Miranda surrounded herself with, infuriate the mistress or use it to blossom the romance between Miranda and Marcus.I love their romance and the part Julia played in giving Miranda a standing. However, I did not like the fact that Miranda chose to stay something I could not find out until I got to the end. If I were reading print, I would have flipped the pages but could not as I read it on the kindle and did not know how to do this.The author truly got me hooked and I slept at 3.00am to wake up at 6.00am for work.


The historical information that is conveyed in this book is excellent, if a little dry. Essentially, it is a monograph on Pompeii masquerading as a very poorly plotted novel. Still, the historical detail is very interesting, and it is fun to visit the author's website afterwards to see pictures of the artwork and artifacts that appear in the book.


This story is about a historian who travels back in time to ancient Pompeii, where she is immediately captured and sold into slavery. Because she can read and write, she becomes valuable to her household. Though she possesses the means to return to her own time, she lingers because she falls in love with her master.While this was an enjoyable story, I have to admit the main character, Miranda, read like a Mary Sue. That is, she seemed to possess superhuman abilities at times ~ indefatigable, personable beyond belief, always in the right place at the right time. Though Latin is a dead language in our time, she has no problem not only speaking and reading it but also understanding the people she meets, despite the fact that they would've spoken dialects she may not have known. Everyone loved her and this was a cute little adventure she was on in her quest to find "true love."However, as a reader I have issues with the thought that a slave of any stature can find "true love" with the master who owns them. Too many variables exist in such a relationship to make me believe love can be consensual between unequal individuals. While perhaps Miranda did feel love toward her master Tullius (she was, after all, born in our time and didn't consider herself anyone's slave), he would've seen her as merely a possession and the story wasn't strong enough to support the argument that he loved her any more than he did anything else he owned.I did like the nice twist with Demetrius' character and why he went to the lengths he did for Tullius, but that wasn't the focus of the story so it mattered little in the grand scheme of things. I also enjoyed a look at life in Pompeii (this story takes place 17 years before the infamous eruption of Mount Vesuvius, though there are foreshadowing occurrences which hint at what's coming). This was innovative, as most stories I've read which are set in Pompeii revolve around the explosion and little else.The historical aspects of the story were well researched and presented in a way that doesn't hinder the characters or the plot. I just wish Miranda was a little more ... average, I guess would be the best word to use. Still, this is a quick read I think most readers would enjoy.

Rachel (Sfogs)

The brilliant ending and the wit of Julia Felix got this book a good review. A good, if long-winded story.

LindaB.D. (old AKA LindaD.)

The book was interesting. I'm glad I read it, but at times it seemed to be lacking. Maybe not exciting enough. The main character, Miranda, sent back into A.D. 62 gave a vivid detail of what it was like there at that time. I commend the writer for so much research.Even at the end of the book there is a special section telling where she did her research, titiled, "Brief Historical Notes for A.D.62:Pompeii". the author then tells what & who was true in this book which I found very refreshing.

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