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Household Gods by Judith Tarr
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Household Gods (original 1999; edition 2000)

by Judith Tarr, Harry Turtledove

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4281624,653 (3.65)21
Member:AddictedToMorphemes
Title:Household Gods
Authors:Judith Tarr
Other authors:Harry Turtledove
Info:Tor Fantasy (2000), Mass Market Paperback, 672 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:Read, Read in 2012

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Household Gods by Judith Tarr (1999)

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» See also 21 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
It was interesting as any other life reconstructed from Archaeology and dealing with the minutiae of Single parenthood in the Danubian Provinces of the high days of the Roman Empire. I hope neither writer views this as their best work. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Nov 22, 2013 |
Nicole, In her fantasies, she thinks about a simpler time and makes a wish to a statue of a Roman god that she could go back to the simple, happy days when the statue was made.

She wakes up the next morning smelling the incredible stench of a Roman city and speaking Latin. She's as ignorant of history as most people, but soon figures out that she's living in a time after Julius Caesar and before the Fall of the Roman Empire. Beyond that…who knows? ( )
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
An entertaining story. A modern, divorced, female lawyer yearns for the "good old days" and her wish is granted by a bored, minor, Roman god. She awakens back in the ancient Roman empire, during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, who she meets as he passes through her town on his way to repel the invading Germans.

All is not as it seems from two millennia distant. Life in the ancient world is hard with lots of work, plus many minor unpleasantries. After a year(?) or so the protagonist begs the gods to return her to her "normal" life, which is granted. She awakens form a coma to find that only a few days have gone by, but her knowledge of Latin has stayed with her.

A good read, T at his usual high performance level. ( )
  Traveller1 | Mar 30, 2013 |
It has been over eight months since I read this book, and I still can't get it out of my head. Yes, the protagonist is a self-righteous, arrogant, rude, selfish blah-blah-blah, and long before you reach the end of the book you will wish she is thrown in with the lions or drowned in the vat of...ahem. However, I tried to overlook her personality disorder and the fact that she couldn't even figure out that she should boil the water before she drank it, for goodness' sake, and enjoyed visiting a culture from a far-off time and place. It was interesting to learn about simple things like their bathing practices (pretty much nonexistent). The time-travel stuff was ridiculous and felt like it was thrown in at the last minute, but no matter how she got there, it was fun to visit. I do wish there would have been some way to know how everyone dealt with her departure and how Umma stepped back into the picture. ( )
  AddictedToMorphemes | Nov 28, 2012 |
Absolutely loved the vivid descriptions of the time -- it was the nitty-gritty of the time and not how romantic it all was. Traveler from the future coping with the past was enthralling. Anyone who gave it less than 4 stars must not like heroines. ( )
  CaptKen | Jul 30, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Judith Tarrprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Turtledove, Harrymain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0812564669, Mass Market Paperback)

The standard time-travel plot turns on what might be changed by the futuristic know-how of an intrepid time traveler--typically a mechanically-minded man who "invents" modern weapons, medical technology, and so on. In Household Gods, Tarr and Turtledove make their time traveler a 1990s Los Angeles lawyer with no special technical or historical knowledge.

Nicole Gunther-Perrin is a single mother of two. Today her daycare provider's quitting. At the office, her male colleague has made partner and she hasn't. The kids get sick, the microwave dies, and her ex goes on vacation with his girlfriend. Staring at a votive plaque of Liber and Libera, Roman household gods, Nicole falls asleep wishing she lived in the past, surely a better and easier time. She awakens in second-century Carnuntum, a town near the Roman Empire's borders. Death, disease, and dirt are commonplace. Slavery and corporal punishment are facts of life, and war, pillage, and rape are constant threats. Mere survival is hard work. Though Nicole adapts and even enjoys some of her experience, she longs to return to her own time. The problems she left behind no longer seem unconquerable.

Tarr and Turtledove know their history and bring the reader into a past as vividly real as Nicole's Los Angeles. They create genuine, sympathetic characters whose thoughts and feelings are true to their era and deliver a satisfying conclusion. Household Gods should be on the shelf next to L. Sprague de Camp's Lest Darkness Fall and John Maddox Roberts's SPQR mysteries. --Nona Vero

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:31 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A modern woman is transported to a 2nd century Roman frontier town. Lawyer Nicole, a single mother frustrated by life in Los Angeles, awakens in the body of a widowed tavern keeper. On her return she appreciates modern life more.

(summary from another edition)

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