Two of today's masters of historical fantasy team up to tell a compelling story: a modern woman transported to the second-century Roman frontier.
Nicole Gunther Perrin is a modern young professional, proud of her skills but weary of childcare, sexist law partners, and her deadbeat ex-husband. Following a ghastly day of dealing with all three, she falls into bed asleep--and awakens the next morning to find herself in a different life, that of a a widowed tavernkeeper in the Roman frontier town of Carnuntum around 170 A.D.
Delighted at first to be away from modern America, she quickly begins to realize that her new world is as complicated as her old one. Violence, dirt, and pain are everywhere--and yet many of the people she comes to know are as happy as those she knew in 20th-century Los Angeles. Slavery is a commonplace, gladiators kill for sport, and drunkenness is taken for granted--but everyday people somehow manage to face life with humor and good will.
No quitter, Nicole manages to adapt to her new life, despite endless worry about the fate of her children "back" in the twentieth century. Then plague sweeps through Carnuntum, followed by brutal war. Amidst pain and loss on a level she had never imagined, Nicole finds reserves of strength she had never known.
In the great tradition of novels like Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Household Gods is more than a time-travel adventure: it is a tale of a woman's strength and self-discovery, and of the real differences--and similarities--between life in our era and life in days gone by.