Lyn is a gladiator daughter, coming from a line of seven gladiator fathers. Yes, after her biological father died, Lyn’s mother married six consecutive gladiators, all who died a gladiator’s death. Now it looks like Lyn might have to marry the man who killed her seventh father as he took her dowry bracelet her father was wearing during the fight for good luck. Even though she learns this guy happens to be a tough gladiator but a nice guy, she isn’t ready to be married. So, she begins to look for some way to get out of marrying him. Might it involve her facing him in the arena to the ultimate fight?
This novel blends ancient Rome with modern day. There’s lots the book explores; a culture that is obsessed with violence, overpowering media coverage, special needs and family dynamics, death and grieving, and how an organization (gladiators association) can be like a strict religion. Besides being an interesting story, this book is a thought provoker. Could our society, that is so addicted to reality TV, ever condone a “fight to the death” “gladiator” type sport? It sure is convincing in the story. These glads and glad wives are celebrities, complete with a paparazzi following. Besides the gladiator culture, Lyn’s family is explored in depth. She has a close relationship with her little brother, and is very protective of him as he has some sort of special needs.
I might mention I did find the narration a little challenging at first take, the conversations have no quotes nor any he said she said, it was free flowing thoughts and dialogues. It was distracting only until I got the hang of it, which was by about the second or third chapter.
Be aware there is swearing, violence, commercialism including the mention of condoms, smoking and a character commits suicide.
Girl in the Arena has a unique style and topic. The author does a fine job blending the ancient past time with modern day realism. I found the book absorbing and it kept me turning pages.
Stay tuned tomorrow for more information about gladiators.
Here are the other bloggers participating on this blog tour:
Abby the Librarian, A Patchwork of Books, All About Children’s Books, Becky’s Book Reviews, Fireside Musings, Homeschool Book Buzz, KidzBookBuzz.com, Maw Books Blog, My Own Little Corner of the World, Reading is My Superpower, Through a Child’s Eyes