Title: The Wedding Shroud (1 of 3)
Author: Elizabeth Storrs
Publication Date: September 2010 (Kindle Unlimited Edition)
My Grade: C
This story takes place in ancient Rome, which was a bit of a change for me as most of my novels lately seem to either in the future or in Tudor(ish) England. It follows the story of Caecilia, a young roman women who is married to a Etruscan Lord to keep a treaty in place. She goes to this world completely different from her own despite only being across the river. So close, that the modern-day spot is actually within Rome’s Metropolitan area.
It was hard getting into it at first. A good deal of the first part of the book is Caecilia watching what went on around her and hating it, finding it to be undignified or lacking honor in comparison to her more sedate Roman ways. I have to admit that its hard to catch the character of her husband, Vel Mastarna, as it seems half the time he’s gone away for some reason or another. SOme of the other characters seem half flushed out but restricted due to the single person point of view. However, the story does eventually grab you. There is a lot happening in the last half. It also includes a real life person in the form of Camillus, a Roman general.
I did find the fact the character’s point of view is mostly set on how troublesome she finds this new world. We don’t see her take charge as matriarch, or do the duties that she actually finds she likes. Instead its barely mentioned before go back to the weird subplot with her brother-in-law who keeps her drugged and calls it piety.
This is the first book in a trilogy, although I’ve decided to forgo the second two books. For one, a quick google search has told me where it must end, (Veii and Rome are historical places after all), but also because I promised my sister I would read a few books she chose for me. But I feel I can recommend this book in general as a pleasant read, if not a great one. I have to admit though that it did have its moments when it made me uncomfortable as Caecilia is, particularly when it got into detail about ancient cultures religious rites.