So it feels like I JUST reacted to the winner of the 2021 prize (Piranesi by Susanna Clarke! Fantastic choice) but here we are again, trying to guess this year’s longlist! Looking forward to failing catastrophically at predicting anything yet again!
[The list below has been edited to include more lists as I find them]
I finished a couple ARCs this week and received a few more, so I thought it would be a good time to talk about what I read and what I added to my shelves!
The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper
Pub Date 29 Mar 2022
This novel was a wonderful read. I could not put this down and missed out on some sleep to read it. Who needs to be awake at work? I NEEDED to read this. First of all, it’s one of those stories that could easily be a heavy read that makes you feel ill and depressed reading, and while the author does not sugar coat any of the horrors of the life of a prostitute in Pompeii, neither does it become too gruesome to read on. I think Elodie Harper found a good balance between being sensitive about difficult topics and still presenting a faithful image of reality.
I read Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker a while ago and while I liked it, I did not love it really. The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper gave me exactly what I kind of hoped for from SotG – a main character who is vulnerable but smart, a bit cold and very resourceful. Amara is a wonderful main character to follow and I loved seeing the world of Pompeii through her eyes, and I also enjoyed that while the people of Pompeii believed in gods, they (the gods) don’t make an appearance at all, giving you the impression of a realistic and well-built world. I also loved the secondary characters in their flawed personalities and how they brought this story to life.
Also! I need to look up Pompeii’s history because I’m pretty sure a lot of historical references are going over my head.
I’ve been lucky enough to receive this as an ARC and I absolutely loved it. I cannot really think of any complaints about this novel, although I was wondering at times if some of the characters didn’t fall a bit too much on the usual tropes, but I think they have been written in a beautifully human way and the tropes didn’t bother me much at all.