Sold by her mother. Enslaved in Pompeii’s brothel. Determined to survive. Her name is Amara. Welcome to the Wolf Den…
Amara was once a beloved daughter, until her father’s death plunged her family into penury. Now, she is owned by a man she despises and lives as a slave in Pompeii’s infamous brothel, her only value the desire she can stir in others.
But Amara’s spirit is far from broken. Sharp, resourceful and surrounded by women whose humour and dreams she shares, Amara comes to realise that everything in this city has its price. But how much will her freedom cost?
I had heard marvellous things about this book, but hadn’t really grasped what to expect before I picked it up. Whatever it was I thought I was going to read, it wasn’t this but, wow, what an incredible, accomplished and entertaining piece of work this is, I absolutely adored every page of it.
Set in the brothels of Pompeii, this book explores in colourful, vivid and violent detail the day to day realities of life in these establishments for the women forced to work and live there. The brutality of what they were subjected to on a daily basis, the degradations suffered, the indignities they had to go through to survive… but also the bravery, the friendship, the humour and the hope that kept them going, held them together and made those lives a little less bleak.
Elodie Harper endows these characters that are so distant in history from ourselves with a humanity to which we can all relate and makes them come to brilliant life. Every sense is awakened by her writing, until the reader is living and breathing life in Pompeii along with the characters. I was absolutely blown away with how vital her writing about the period is; if you didn’t know better, you might assume she had been there at the time.
I was mesmerised by this book. Once I picked it up, I could not put it down. It was one of the most compelling novels I have picked up these year. It made me wince, it made me outraged, it moved me, it made me laugh, it made me cry and it gave me hope. This book is the first of a trilogy, with the new book due next year and, as soon as I had finished, I went out and bought a copy in hardback in anticipation of collecting the full set. I absolutely cannot wait for Amara’s story to continue and The Wolf Den is undoubtedly going to be one of my top books of the year.
The Wolf Den is available now in all formats and you can buy a copy here.
About the Author
Elodie Harper is a journalist and prize winning short story writer. Her story ‘Wild Swimming’ won the 2016 Bazaar of Bad Dreams short story competition, run by The Guardian and Hodder & Stoughton and judged by Stephen King. She is currently a reporter and presenter at ITV News Anglia, and before that worked as a producer for Channel 4 News.
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