The story is set in the modern day in France, and in the same place in Roman times. Perry gets whipped back in time to the villa the ruin of which he is visiting with his family. He has to learn to become a Roma slave.
There he meets the girl whose coffin he has seen; she would die very soon if he and his fellow slave Carotus doesn’t save her. He has found a way of getting back to his own time but he postpones this in order to help Valentia, the daughter to his master.
We get a good insight into the Roman way of life both for the nobility and for the slaves. We find out how they were educated, what they ate and what their homes were like. There ae some surprises; Perry and Carotus go to school with Valentia. At the feast of Saturnalia, a little like our Christmas, the masters become the slaves and the slaves the masters.
Perry gets back to his home time and has not been missed at all. He is not able to tell his family of his adventure in Roman times. However the label on Valentia’s coffin now says she lives to be 55. He is quite surprised to see who she married.
The book is 309 pages long –though the text is double spaced. I uses a young reader friendly font: 12.25 Bembo though it is serifed and has difficult ‘a’s and ‘g’s. There are a few line drawings at the beginning of the book which give an impression of what the two homes look like and how some of the young people looked. Each chapter has what looks like a coin with a Roman numeral on it, as part of the chapter heading. There is also an ordinary number and a title for each chapter.
At the end of the book there is a glossary of terms, notes from the author and notes from the researcher. We also have bios for the author and the researcher.