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January 2, 2015     Post-Gazette
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January 2, 2015

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POST-GAZETTE, ,JANUARY ")',"20 i5 Page 5 o A Frank De Pasc uale Venture 0 BOOK REVIEW HAVENS OF POMPEII Revised This is an explosive book. From the very initial page to the very last page it never lets up. The reader is faced with daily excitement. Even the love scenes are enacted with complete passion. Author Louw declares, "On August 24, 70 AD, the earthquakes, which had over the years been little more than a growing nui- sance, became a continuous vibration." The cities of Her- culean and Pompeii, which were located at the base of the God considered moun- tain, Vesuvius, was buried under layers of pumice for many years. Louw introduces two Roman companions who are travelling together, one named Valerus, a scarred arena gladiator. The other named Lucius, a sensitive soul who wrote poetry. They arrive in the town of Neapolis (Naples), I assumed: Here is where slaves were bought and sold. They decided to join this common frantic display. Following a price debate, Valerus who was thinking of buying a gift for his father, Pedius, decided to buy three of the slaves. One slave was Flavia who was a beautiful dancer and sold at halve price because she was still a vir- gin. Explain that? These two adventuresome Romans were typical when compared to present day friends except today's friends would probably drop in a coffee shop and flirt about while our Roman friends would drop in a slave shop to By Nicole Louw Edition Soft Cover Author Nicole Louw www.depas( buy a companion for the night and The cities of Herculean and Pompeii, beyond. That night which were located at 'the Valerus' attempts base of the God considered mountain, to force himself on Vesuvius, were buried under layers Flavia were futile. He blurts out, "You of pumice for many years. will be severely punished for what you have just done." A con- frontation such as this could easily mean death for a slave. Valerus and his purchased three slaves arrive at his mansion home in Herculean. Flavia is thrilled to be here, in a beautiful home that included a library. Nonetheless, she is frightened because she is afraid of what Valerus might do to her because of her disobedience toward him. Flavia is instructed by Valerus to prepare to dance at a forthcoming party, which included two erotic dances. Then she is to go to Valerus' room and wait for him. Flavia, at first finds this direct order a dilemma. She consoles herself by remembering what Christ said, let them do as they wish. Author Nicole Louw rises to the task. Her passionate description of the lovemaking between a Roman slave and her Roman mas- ter is masterfully portrayed, even though Flavia believed in one god and Valerus be- lieves in many. All this was set aside. Although she kept saying no, no, "her body responded positively, it wanted it to happen." The relationship between them began to soften. Their social status being what it was created subtleties that had the reader guess- ing at times as to where they were headed. While all this is happening author Louw does a remarkable job explaining in com- prehensible terms the life of slaves and mas- ters during the time when Rome was the dominating power in the known world. The plot was thickening as political changes were occurring. Subtle hints in our lover's behavior were getting clearer. Even Mother Nature was at work. The earth trembled but the people were silent. Obviously Flavia and Valerus were falling in love, an unheard of circumstance. Valerus is shocked to learn that his lov- ing slave, Flavia is a Christian, which is against Roman law. Nonetheless, this rev- 523 Pages elation did not interfere with the planned love scenes. Author Louw brings to light several sensational love scenes that I believe will affect and expose the reader to an exclusive rendezvous seldom achieved. The new religion, Chris- tianity, was plaguing Rome. Flavia was arrested for being a Christian. Valerus killed a slave whom he thought was about to hurt Flavia and was placed Under house arrest as a protective measure by his father. During this period of isolationism Valerus pon- dered over the differences between his beliefs, as a Roman citizen, wherein he wor- shipped bloodshed and orgies, whereas Flavia worshipped one God and believed in his peaceful ways. Valerus found it unbearable and completely unjustifiable that Flavia could be put to death for being a Christian while he would be pardoned, because of his politi- cal position, even though he killed someone. Louw, cleverly notes, from time to time, minor earth tremors that were occurring occasionally. This is Louw's way of alerting the reader realistically to the forthcoming disaster. The use of Roman names and Roman words throughout the book adds credence to the book and is quite appeal- ing. Both Valerus and Flavia are captured and chained in slave quarters. It was dur- ing this time of captivity that Valerus states emphatically that he intends to join Flavia as a Christian and be condemned with her. This powerful statement may be considered a dec- laration of major changes forthcoming in religion. Mount Vesuvius' rumblings, which had marked the lives of the people who lived in its sight for years, were seldom affected. But now things had changed. Vesuvius was spouting fire and brim. "The sun was blocked out by a thick, black cloud." Author Louw vividly describes the horrific scene and how the imprisoned couple managed to escape. Pompeii and Herculean were slowly being covered with ash and pumice. Chaos reigned, panic increased, nevertheless you can hear above the din the people's voices debating whether to stay or leave. Some ex- pressed the thought that the dilemma is over, others knew better. Valerus' attempts to carry Flavia away from the ruins are in vain." Status was an impor- tant issue throughout the Roman Empire. Now in the midst of the destruction of Pompeii and Herculean it didn't matter any longer. Survival was the predominate fac- tor. Chances to escape were minimal. Breathing became a major chore. Staying indoors was hopeless, roofs were collapsing because of the excessive weight of the vol- canic debris. The wind, rain, fire and lava, which covered the entire area was too much for Flavia, she passes away. Apparently some people who made it to the seashore and boarded ships in the harbor were saved. Valerus, survived, but wondered why he is alive and not Flavia. While in this melan- choly mood he discovers his old Roman friend, Lucius. When the dreadful conditions began to diminish the two Roman friends began to make plans to outfit a ship and travel to the end of the world to explore the rumors that life may exist there. Slave girl Flavia had this dream. Remember it was approximately fourteen hundred years later that Columbus showed up. This book was exciting, especially the love scenes, that will stay with you a long time. Quattro Grille, Rosticceria & Pizzeria OOO 266 Hanover St. 617.720.0444 Bricco ou: a=e !talian Cuisine 000 24 J Hanover St. 617.248.6800 Mar6 Seafood & Oyster Bar 00o 135 Richmond St. - 617.723.MARE Trattoria II Panino Boston's 1st Original Trattoria ooo 11 Parmenter St. 617.720.1336 Umbria Prime 5 Story Steakhouse Oyster Bar & Night Club ooo 295 Franklin St. 617.338. 1000 Bricco Panetteria Homemade Artisan Breads OOO Bricco Place 241 Hanover St, 617.248.9859 Bricco Salumeria & Pasta shoppe Over 50 Varieties ooo Bricco Place. 241 Hanover St. 617.248.9629 (next to Bricco Panetteria) Lounge & Night Club Coming Soon ooo ] 50 Kneelancl St. Gelaterla & Cannoli Factory Homemade Gelato & Cannolis oo0 272 Hanover St. 64 Cross St. 617.720.4243 PIRANDELLO LYCEUM Italian Opera Aria Concert The Pirandello Lyceum invites everyone to enjoy this wonderful Annual Bel Canto Italian Opera Aria Concert on Sunday, January 18 th, 2:30pm at the Dante Alighieri Cultural Center, 41 Hampshire Street, Cambridge, MA (617- 876-5160). The Boston Bel Canto Opera Company artistically directed by Bradley Pennington will focus on the timeless beautiful music of Puccini. This annual concert is now in its 20 th year. All are invited. The concert is free for Pirandello mem- bers in good standing. Coro-Dante members, guests of Pirandello members and students will receive a discount. Parking is available at the Dante for "early birds." Over- flow parking is available nearby at the Kendall Theater Cambridge at a reduced rate with validation from the Dante. For further details, call 781-245-6536 or 781-640-3637. Invitation to Learn Italian from C.A.S.IT. The Education Committee, under the auspices of the Italian Consulate of Boston, CENTRO ATTIVITA SCOLASTICHE ITALIANE (C.A.S.IT), is pleased to invite those who wish to learn the beautiful Italian language to enroll in a new adult education program. You may choose to take Travel and Conversation, a 10 session course which prepares you for travel to Italy and focuses on situa- tions you may encounter. Or you may take Elementary Italian, a 10 session course, offered for those who wish to perfect listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Evening classes are held from 7:00-8:30 pro. Day classes and individual tutoring can also be arranged. Classes taught by professional educators start in February and will be held at 37 Water Street, Unit 4, Wakefield, MA. For additional information, call 781-640-3637. Since 1969 FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEED5 RICHARD SETTIPANE Public Insurance Adjuster Experience makes the difference! 209 BROADWAY, REVERE, MA 02151 Tel. 781.284.1100 Fax 781.284.2200 Boston 617.523.3456 Free Parking Adjacent to Building