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This is a story that is slow to build. Ruso and Tilla return to his family home. A letter and a broken foot sends Ruso into the stifling summer heat of the South of France and his family. He and Tilla face his rackety family, the family's intractable debt problem, the heat of summer, and the hostility of the locals. Ruso feels obliged to sort it all out. Tilla's problems include Ruso's family and the mysteries of Roman customs.
All will be well, but not without a lot of luck and hard work. On the way the readers learn much about the life of Romans at work and play in the South of France. Simon Vance tells a good tale and, although this was my first audio tale of Ruso, I am sure I shall listen to more of the Medicus and Tilla.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
[The author is known] This is the third of Ruth Downie's books, and it has maintained the same high standard. These are fun reading or listening as the case may be and I have all three on my mp3 player. I am awaiting the next installment. If you are a history, historical fiction or love things Roman, it is a great series, written with whit and a bit of irony.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
As a fan of Lindsey Davis and Stephen Saylor, I am thrilled to have found Ruth Downie. In her third book featuring Roman medicus during the reign of Hadrian, she takes it to the next level. The first two books were enjoyable, but this volume is in an entirely different league. The change of setting from Roman Britain to Transalpine Gaul (modern Provence), takes Ruso into the bosom of his very dysfunctional family (who had been alluded to in previous books). While it's possible to read this book as a stand-alone, I would highly recommend reading the books in order in order to appreciate the characters' histories and development. I have a background in Classical History, and while I won't pretend there aren't some anachronistic elements, I was impressed by how much research Ms. Downie must have done to recreate the period. Unlike the more free-thinking Falco of Lindsey Davis's books, Ruso seems more a product of his era and culture.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful