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Winifred Bryher (ps)

Roman Wall
Pantheon, 1954


Recommended for high school, adults, mature readers. (Includes mild sexuality, adultery.) Plot summary: a Helvetian outpost, its commander Valerius in 3rd century as the Allemanni invade. Setting is around Lake Geneva, where the author lived. She was inspired by mosaics found at Orbe (the jacket cover has a photo of one of the mosaics), located near her home. Emphasis is on the everyday person and how the weakening of Rome's protection affects them (farmers, merchants, soldiers, et. al.). Somewhat philosophical, various characters ruminate on what is happening in the Roman Empire and why it is falling apart. Not much action, although the fall of Aventicum is described. Good writing, good descriptions of the era, good depictions of people and their thoughts. Some students might complain there's more talk/thought than action but I enjoyed this novel. Rosalind Harper

- Rosalind Harper, 11/23/2005

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