Household Gods Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Household Gods

Household Gods
Judith Tarr and Harry Turtledove
Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, 1999, 664 pp.
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ISBN: 0-812-56466-9

In Household Gods, Nichole Gunther-Perrin is a single mother juggling the demands of a legal career and child rearing. Her husband, a college professor, has left her for a young graduate assistant. Worse still, an ambitious male associate gets credit for a major report, three quarters of which was done by Nichole, and is offered the partnership she had was hoping to get.

At the end of one, very trying, day, and longing for a simpler life away from the congestion and pollution of Los Angeles, she goes to bed exhausted and discouraged. But when she wakes up she finds herself in Carnuntum, a Roman frontier town in present day Austria, in the year 170 A.D. At first she thought her dream of a new life in a better era had been granted. But she soon learned that second century Carnuntum offered a different but equally challenging life. However, Nichole not only rises to the challenge of life in the second century A.D., but also gains the strength and insight to better deal with twentieth century Los Angeles when she returns at the end of the book.

The time travel is deftly done and the story flows easily from twentieth century Los Angeles to second century Carnuntum and back. The real reward in this book is the opportunity for the reader to "live" through the eyes of Nichole in second century Carnuntum. By the end of the book the reader, like Nichole, not only has a new appreciation for what our era has to offer but also a better understanding of both what life was really like in the outposts of the Roman Empire in the second century and how the people of that era thought and acted .
The review of this Book prepared by Chuck Nugent

Nicole Gunther-Perrin is a divorced mom and a lawyer. The day she is denied a partnership she should have gotten, she unwittingly invokes the gods on a votive plaque she purchased on her honeymoon. The gods are real; they respond to Nicole's prayer; she is transported to the body of an ancestress in 2nd Century Pannonia.
The review of this Book prepared by Donald Jenner

A feminist lawyer time travels back to the Roman frontier in the time of Marcus Aurelius. She encounters war, pestilence, birth and death.
Very engrossing and descriptive. Excellent story.
The review of this Book prepared by Anne Smittle

Chapter Analysis of Household Gods

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 70% Tone of book    -   very upbeat FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Time Travel:    -   largely backwards/past Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Time Travel story?    -   Yes Cultural problems, alien culture    -   Yes Culture clash-    -   one person from different culture of other persons Intense exploration of society's culture?    -   Yes Story largely takes place in    -   Really long ago

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   a lawyer creature Age:    -   20's-30's


Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   none/very little science jargon needed

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Judith Tarr and Harry Turtledove Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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