This book is full of horrific acts woven beautifully into a historical fiction you almost dont notice the brutality. Elodie Harper is an author I hadnt heard of, but thanks to google I can see that shes got some other books which now i feel need to be added to by TBR pile. her style of writing in this book felt almost poetic, or like a lullaby carrying you along. Its been a long time since I felt that way when reading a book.
Transported back in time we are in a world where peopple are owned by masters and sold at will. The story is based in southern Italy, in Pompei. The way the backdrop was set up you could easily imagine the streets, the brothel, the baths and all the other locations the girls visit. Whilst the story is about Amara, its really about the friendship, strength and survial of a group of girls in a horrible situation. Its also about love and loss. Amara is brave, and loyal making her a great lead character. Shes in a bad place and is trying to work out how to make life better..
Sold as a slave Amara is now a She Wolf, more commonly known as a whore. Her master, Felix isnt kind and has a local rivalry with another Brothel Owner that impacts the girls all the way through the story. The friendship between the girls is put to the test due to sucesses and failures they all have but the way they look out for each other is empowering. Giving what little they have when its needed, and protecting each other shows the solidarity they have as a group. Amara dreams of leaving the den, and being a freedwomen. Shes made a friend who she realises is something more to her and then finally gets her chance to earn some real money for her master thanks to a lucky break at a local festival. Taking her friend Dido with her the girls spend time in a differerent environment and despite the fact that they are still expected to do their day job, so to speak it is more enjoyable than being back in the brothel. Amara meets people who sympathise with her, but also those that take advantage and mistreat her. Some see her for the person she was before this life became all she knew.
The book didnt end how I expected it to, and there were moments that I just wanted to be able to hug some characters which makes me realise how involved in the book I became. Im not generally a fan of this genre but I absolutly loved both the writing and the story.
The book is due out in May and I really would encourage you to pick it up and read it, even if like me it’s a little out of your usual genre.