Customer Reviews for

The Last Girls of Pompeii

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2008

    Good things come in short stories. . .

    For a short book, this one packs a historical wallop. I first picked the book because I thought it was one I could get through quickly, and I did. I expected the characters and plot to be mediocre, and wow, was I ever surprised. Julia Petreia is a twelve year old character living in Pompeii just before Mt. Vesuvius erupts. Ms. Lasky deftly creates a young heroine of intelligence and conscience as Julia wrestles with the issues such as slavery and her place in a culture that finds physical handicaps disconcerting. Julia is a participant in her oldest sister¿s wedding. As the family prepares, Julia begins to notice a subtle shift in how they are treating her. Her mother continues to pester oracle after oracle to find an auspicious day for the wedding and to get counsel as to how to deal with Julia. Julia knows that she will never be married. Her deformed arm has ended any chance of that in a world that defines her either as cursed by the gods or as especially gifted and in tune with the spirit world. With an eye for detail and a flair for storytelling, Ms. Lasky creates a tale of surprising depth. This depth reflects the somewhat permissive attitude Romans had about liaison¿s outside of marriage and some dramatically detailed, but disturbing scenes from the eruption. My initial feelings about the author¿s credibility were allayed in the notes at the end of the book. To keep the characters clear, Ms. Lasky ignored the esoteric custom of how people were named in Roman times. When I realized why she had made that decision and read the history she had used to create this story, I was remarkably impressed. This would be an excellent book to read as a supplement to a World History class.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2010

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