Thursday, February 17, 2011

Imprisoned in Time by Laura Gay, translated by Federica Pibiri

January 2011,
196 pages, Paperback (mine was PDF)

Time travel, and sort of a historical romance

Blurb from the book
Elisa is a high school student, with all the usual concerns of all girls of her age: family, boyfriends, school. One day, though, she finds herself in an entirely different time: the Rome of the Borgias, and she has to learn how to survive in a world which is completely different from her own. While desperately seeking a solution to go back to her time, two young men fight for her love: the charming but wicked Cesare Borgia and Cristiano, honest and loyal. The former is ready to kill to have her, while the latter would give his own life for her. Who will conquer her heart? In a crescendo of action this story will charm you from the first page to the last.

*smiles* I'm really in love with historicals at the moment, predominantly for the range of costumes, and this book doesn't disappoint me. Elisa definitely wears the costumes of the era she finds herself in - she'd stick out like a sore thumb if she stayed in her jeans. She manages to stick out enough just by what she says (a few profanities) and her modern mannerisms. Even when it is explained to her how she should act, she doesn't find it easy to stick to the social rules. These are rules which the nobility seem to bend and break whenever they please. First there is the family incest that Elisa unravels - not her family. That was a little weird to stomach, but upon reflection that did happen more in the past than it does now. Then there is the cruelty that those in power inflict on mere servants - or anyone who displeases them.

Elisa both sees and suffers some of this punishment. As a reader I knew she was in a precarious position and her life wasn't secured, but Elisa only truly realises this when it happens before her very eyes. Up until then, I did like her, although she felt so naive by claiming to be in love with every man she was with, and then putting them aside for another. She had enough wits to remain fixed on her goal to get home. I enjoyed watching some of those around her become her genuine friends. They really pull out all the stops for her when they learn she's in trouble. As for her enemies - Cesare was a brute. He was definitely wrong in the head. It was fortunate for Elisa that he became so besotted with her. I know that caused her lots of problems, but equally it saved her from some hardship. She was particularly brave at the end in the huge plot to free herself from Cesare.

There are a few spelling mistakes, and sometimes the sentences don't quite flow or the wrong words are used. One small issue which was solved at the end, was that the characters sound as though they would belong in the modern world. Laura notes that she is not writing a historical per se. There are parts of it based on fact, and other areas are fiction. I would like to make it clear that the flow of the story didn't suffer for the spelling/flow - it is such an engaging story, with lots of tense moments and uncertainty that although I registered the errors, it didn't pull me out from the story itself. Content wise, there are a few strong profanities, and it's sensual to highly sensual in places.

I definitely recommend this book, and I wish I could read Italian, since some subtleties are lost in translation.

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