Outstanding book! Reminded me a lot of Austenland. Great Victorian dialogue, and great story. I loved how this novel was commenting on some of the for...moreOutstanding book! Reminded me a lot of Austenland. Great Victorian dialogue, and great story. I loved how this novel was commenting on some of the forbidden Austen issues like bathroom issues, chamber pots, "monthly courses", and the serving class experiences, that which no other author ever describes for the reader. We always wonder about such things, but it was interesting to actually read some of these answers. Great book! I look forward to reading the sequal next week!(less)
This book was very slowly moving, and hard to become excited about at the beginning. Yet, when I did get into it, I enjoyed the twists and mystery. It...moreThis book was very slowly moving, and hard to become excited about at the beginning. Yet, when I did get into it, I enjoyed the twists and mystery. It was a very engaging plot. The character development was marvelous, and I loved learning about the historical time period, particularly the Salem Witchcraft Trials. The author interspersed historical facts throughout the novel, and had many flashbacks that made the plot flow nicely. Interesting read! :)(less)
My interest to read this novel was sparked by watching the movie. The novel is so much better than the movie, no big surprise there! :-) Yet, I was su...moreMy interest to read this novel was sparked by watching the movie. The novel is so much better than the movie, no big surprise there! :-) Yet, I was surprised to see just how many characters and details had been eliminated in the movie version to make the plot fit into a 2-hour presentation. Douglas's novel is marvelous! The movie does not do such an emotionally-charged book justice! The main characters, Marcellus, Diana, and Demetrius, are not as valiantly noble as Douglas's words create them out to be. This novel has many minor characters like Peter, Stephen, Justice, Herod, Salome, and even Pontius Pilate from the Bible. Reading this story takes the reader on a journey through Jerusalem and Greece during the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, as one learns about the Jewish cultural system of that period. The reader is learning about history and religious doctrine without even realizing it, and one has the Gallio family intertwined into such moving, historical times. This is historical fiction at its best!
Demetrius, one of the stars of the story was down played in the movie, which disappointed me. This loyal slave is brave,clever and strong. As he learns Hebrew, his intelligence is made known. As he rescues Diana from Capri, his bravery and cleverness are evident. Furthermore, the exciting brawl with Quinntus shows his strength, so he should have played a much larger role in the movie. He was the hero of the story, displaying his arête at all times. In the book, he was very spiritual and was always saying profound declarations, like the following:
"This faith is not like a deed to a house in which one has full possession. It is more like a kit of tools with which a man may build himself a house. The tools will be worth just what he does with them. When he lays them down they have no value until he takes them up again."
Demetrius is not the only spiritually-minded character in this rare jewel. The reader is taken on an exciting journey with characters that will become your best friends. Marcellus Gallio is such an ordinary, likable guy that the reader cannot help rooting for Marcellus to get his girl in the end. Their romance was well-developed, and Douglas knew just how to satisfy that feminine audience searching for romantic stories. Wonderfully moving novel! Taught me many things about the Jewish culture, but more importantly, it gave me new insights about the early Christian martyrs. Absolutely sensational book! :-)