Set in the seedy yet complex milieu of Pompeii’s brothels, Harper’s masterful first historical novel follows Amara and her fellow ‘she-wolves’ through a city where opportunity is rife for even the lowest born slave. 'The Wolf Den' by Elodie Harper is Waterstones' fiction book of the month for September 2021.
Amara was once a beloved daughter, until her father's death plunged her family into penury. Now she is a slave in Pompeii's infamous brothel, owned by a man she despises. Sharp, clever and resourceful, Amara is forced to hide her talents. For now her only value lies in the desire she can stir in others.
But Amara's spirit is far from broken. By day, she walks the streets with the Wolf Den's other women, finding comfort in the laughter and dreams they share. For the streets of Pompeii are alive with opportunity. Out here, even the lowest slave can secure a reversal in fortune. Amara has learnt that everything in this city has its price. But how much is her freedom going to cost her?
Set in Pompeii's lupanar, The Wolf Den is the first in a trilogy of novels reimagining the lives of women who have long been overlooked. Perfect for fans of Pat Barker's The Silence of the Girls and Madeline Miller's Circe.
Reviews for 'The Wolf Den'
'A wonderfully clear-sighted tale seen from the viewpoint of its main protagonist, Amara, a doctor's daughter, who was sold as a slave into prostitution when she and her mother became destitute after his death. You really live and feel Pompeii in this book. An amazing achievement' - Financial Times
'Elodie Harper's vibrant and thrilling story is steeped in historical detail while remaining contemporary in its concerns ... Harper tells her gripping tale with conviction and wit' - Observer
'A gripping historical story about a slave in Pompeii's infamous brothel' - Independent
'A one-of-a-kind historical novel ... This is a mesmerising, richly detailed tale of sisterhood and courage that fans of Circe will love' - Red Magazine
'A story of survival, friendship and courage, Amara and her fellow 'she-wolves' are vividly drawn in a fascinating depiction of women at the time. Spellbinding' - Woman & Home
'Vivid, wise and unflinching, this is a triumph' - The Times