Monday, April 14, 2014

Lynne Gentry's Healer of Carthage ~ Reviewed

Healer of Carthage [Paperback]
By Lynne Gentry (Author)
Release Date Mar 1, 2014
Publisher Simon & Schuster
ISBN 1476746338

A modern-day doctor gets trapped in third-century Carthage, Rome, where she uncovers buried secrets, confronts Christian persecution, and battles a deadly epidemic to save the man she loves. 

Dr. Lisbeth Hastings, a first-year resident, is summoned by her eccentric father to join him at his archaeological dig. She is hesitant to accept his invitation, but when a tragic mistake ends her medical career, Lisbeth decides the only way to redeem her failure is to care for her confused father. 

While exploring the haunting cave at her father's dig, Lisbeth falls through a hidden hole and awakens to find herself the object of a slave bidding war She tries to escape her captor, a wealthy Roman lawyer named Cyprian Thascius, and discovers that the city she remembers as ruins has somehow become brand-new. Who restored Carthage to a thriving metropolis? And if she is in the third century, how did this happen? 

Cyprian believes God called him to rescue the beautiful and strange woman being auctioned off as a slave. He doesn't understand why saving the church of his newfound faith requires him to love a mysterious woman who seems determined to get him killed by her stubbornness. But who is he to question God? 

Their colliding worlds spark an intense attraction as Lisbeth and Cyprian soon find themselves united in a battle against a deadly epidemic. Together they confront Christian persecution, uncover buried secrets, and witness the beginnings of a medical revolution, but they fear Roman wrath will separate them forever. Will Lisbeth save the man she loves and the family she longs for--or will their separate worlds pull them apart forever?


I’ve been a fan of time travel since reading Michelle Griep’s Gallimore. Lynne Gentry ably picks up that genre in a different time and different place – uh, well, kind of.

Present day overwhelmed medical resident/student Lisbeth plods through her residency while juggling concerns about her mad-archeologist father who resides half a world away.

After a lapse in judgment plunges Lisbeth into a tragic leave of absence she flies to Egypt to try to figure out what’s going on in her father’s semi-lucid  mind.

Through a series of events Lisbeth wakes up enslaved in ancient Carthage. As Lisbeth slowly realizes that she is literally in an ancient civilization events and surprises unfold all around her. She finds that her skill and know-how are a necessity to help others and survive the brutal reality, and her emotions a luxury she can’t wallow in. Life and death are all too real. 

Lisbeth’s life becomes intertwined with the people of the past. Once she finds the key to returning to the future/her present she must decide the price she’s willing to pay to go or to stay.

This novel is historically rich and the details paint a fascination picture of a very different civilization. Not all will appreciate some brutal or intense moments so consider it a PG-13 read.  History and fantasy buffs should find much to like. Often a book’s first chapter is the best – I found that the pace clips and the narration gets richer as the story grows in Healer of Carthage – no saggy middle here. This would be a great travel or beach read.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

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