Somewhat surprisingly this is a gentle and loving slave story. It begs the question to the reader if given the option would you choose slavery to the ideal master? I suspect, much like the philosopher-king many would say, "Yes." Unfortunately, once powerless there is little that can be done to rectify a bad situation and this idyllic languishing gives way to a darker, less pleasant thriller driven tale where all the participants come to acknowledge all the realities inherent in the situation. While the telling is clearly male with more action less psychology, the story has a rhythmic pacing and certainly not suffering from an emotional lobotomy. A pleasant read if one can handle the darker moments.