designer Cathy Helms of www.avalongraphics.org
with fellow designer Tamian Wood of www.beyonddesigninternational.com
select their chosen Cover of the Month
with all winners going forward for
Cover of the Year in December 2021
(honourable mentions for the Runner-up)
AUGUST Runner UP #1
Book of the Month
I am at the point of regretting starting my 'book of the month' personal selections because the choices are getting so hard to decide! Anna Belfrage's Whirlpools Of Time and Deborah Swift's The Poison Keeper were super reads. The Hour Glass sounded a superb book, alas I don't do audible and I struggle to read paperbacks but at the time of writing this (July) it doesn't seem to be available on Kindle. Then there was Annie Whitehead's Sins Of The Father - continuing the story of Anglo-Saxon England which she began in her superb novel Cometh The Hour... I'd not hesitate to select Annie or Anna's books but as both are very close friends (and two of Discovering Diamonds' top reviewers!) it would be a little awkward to choose them - so just a special mention instead:
|read our review
|read our review
So my choice is something very different. This one might not be a read suitable for everyone - it is very adult with explicit language, and as it is about the whores in a Pompeii brothel - well, it obviously has adult content. Even the first-person present I found easy to read (most unusual for me!) It did get a little slow in a few places BUT... I've chosen it (and enjoyed it) because I think it takes a remarkable talent to write an entire novel about sex - with virtually no actual sex in it. 'The Act' was very firmly left at the bedroom door, or in this case the brothel's cubicle curtains. We hear what is going on, be it faked enjoyment or the terror of rape, but anything explicit is not mentioned. The writing was so good I felt as if I were truly walking through those Pompeii streets with the 'girls' - and there was no flowery nicety about the awfulness of being a slave forced into prostitution. The author brought home just how bad it was to be unfree, to be owned and to have no choice - in anything.
The horror of slavery of the past isn't just confined to the cotton and sugar plantations of Colonial America - slavery was a staple of the Roman Empire, and boy did this novel make me realise that fact!
Highly recommended, but probably not for all tastes.
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