In a Roman-style home, the tablinium is the room off the atrium where the head of the household conducts business. In Chapter One of The Deadliest Lie, the first book in the Miriam bat Isaac series, Miriam’s father summons her there to set the date for her wedding to his business partner’s son.
Miriam describes her father’s tablinium as a small square room off the atrium perfumed by the roses in the courtyard to its west. In her distress—not only is she repelled by her fiancé, but she is in love with someone else—she feels the heat of the room clamping down on her despite the cool breath of the Etesian winds billowing and snapping the purple, tied-back drapes that skirt the floor and separate her father’s study from the peristyle.
Her father gives her one more week (but it costs her almost her life):
I wheeled out of the chair, nearly toppling it over, my knees stiff from the stress of our meeting, the pressure of a headache gathering across my eyes. While crossing the mosaic floor to the mahogany doors, I wiped my sticky palms on the skirt of my tunic so I could turn the bronze door handles. Counting each step to the vaulted atrium, I heard a faint whistle of relief escape my pursed lips as I circled the sunken marble pool edged with planters of white chamomiles and yellow field marigolds.
Like many young women, Miriam is torn between duty and desire. Aside from a maddening search for a set of high-stakes documents, Miriam must wrestle with this most vexing personal dilemma. You must help her. Click here. I know you’re good at solving problems of the heart.