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The Mirror of Diana by A. R. Homer

Book cover for The Mirror of Diana
The time is 1943, a time of war. The place is the hill-perched town of Nemi, in the Alban Hills south of Rome, overlooking the crater lake where, 2000 years before, the Roman emperor Caligula sailed his gigantic ships to the Temple of Diana. Just a few years before the war, the ancient ships, sunk after Caligula's death, were miraculously recovered from the lake and placed in a lakeside museum. Paolo, the museum curator, now struggles to protect these treasures from Allied bombs and the depredations of the Germans in a world where the struggle for simple survival makes such efforts seem irrelevant. He watches with disquiet as the German occupation brings together Rosanna, his daughter, whose innocence is brutalized by the horrors of the war, and Klaus, a German officer, whose high ideals and love for Rosanna cause him soul-wrenching conflicts of loyalty. Love? Or duty? The Mirror of Diana tells the poignant story of Klaus and Rosanna's secret love against the backdrop of war-torn Italy and one of the war's great unsolved mysteries: why were the fabulous ships of Caligula reduced to ashes in the midst of war? The answer may have been foretold in the legend sculpted on The Mirror of Diana.