Return to Exile (book review)
Return to Exile was written by Lynne Gentry. It is the 2nd book in The Cathage Chronicles. This post was organized by LitFuse Publicity. I was provided with a copy in exchange for my honest book review. All opinions are my own.
About the book:
Six years ago, impossible circumstances forced Dr. Lisbeth Hastings to leave behind the love of her life, not just in another country, but in another time. Her work as a top-notch epidemiologist and parenting her little girl helps alleviate the pain, but at night when her exhausted head hits the pillow, images of her beloved Cyprian haunt her sleep.
Cyprian Thascius returns from political exile a broken man. He’s lost his faith, the love of his life, and his purpose. He attempts to move on, to face the danger that is looming over Carthage, but when Cyprian’s true love suddenly reappears, his heart becomes as imperiled as the fledgling church he seeks to save.
Have the years that kept Lisbeth and Cyprian apart created too wide a chasm to bridge? In the midst of a new epidemic and rising oppression, will their love be the most costly fatality? Filled with gripping action and raw emotion, this spell-binding adventure of star-crossed lovers captivates with every turn of the page in this electric continuation of The Carthage Chronicles.
Historical fiction is just fascinating sometimes. I love that Return to Exile had the fantasy aspect of Lisbeth (a modern day doctor/scientist) time traveling back to the first half of the 200s AD. I just find the blending of historical facts meshed together with fictional story. It always just leaves me with a truer than fiction feel... even with the unbelievable time travel aspect. I find myself looking for information about Cyprian to compare to the story. The true details that are woven into the story are just fascinating.
Return to Exile was particularly interesting to read right now since measles and vaccinations are so prevalent in the news today. Lisbeth is a doctor in current day fighting a measles outbreak. Her thoughts really brought to light for me the details of how dangerous measles can be. One mother's infection surrounding the time her family boards and airplane and spends a week at Disney before coming down with symptoms... and the slow spread... were just frightening. And then... to have her travel to a time dealing with the plague... which Lisbeth has diagnosed as an original measles outbreak (which whether true or not I'm not sure of) just really had me thinking about the devastation of an untreated communicable disease. The idea that if one generation of a disease can be eradicated through vaccination in 200 AD would mean it wouldn't ever effect people in 2015 in just overwhelming to think about. And then coming forward to think if everyone in 2015 would follow through with vaccinations would mean that people in 2815 would never have to suffer.... it just pushing home how truly amazing science and medicine are in the history of people.
Add the romance of Cyprian and Lisbeth... an Return to Exile could be considered a tragedy. Their love, and suffering, and during a time of such devastation (political, medical, emotional....) made for an amazing story. I didn't read book 1 (although I was able to catch up with the story). The ending of book 2 (and the sneak peek at book 3) have me on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen next with Lisbeth and Cyprian... and their families and friends.