The Purple Shroud, by Stella Duffy, Puffin Books, 2012.
I bought this book for a dollar because it looked interesting.
This novel took me FOREVER to read -- OK, maybe it was only three days but it felt SO much longer.
I kept waiting for the portrayal of Theodora to become sympathetic -- that never happened. Instead we are reminded at every turn that she used to be a prostitute. And an actress-prostitute. And an acrobat-prostitute. And now she is an empress (who used to be a prostitute), who wears purple and makes people kiss her feet. And, in case you missed it, she used to be a prostitute. Honestly, Wikipedia gives a more sympathetic portrayal of Theodora than this book gives.
I want my dollar back.