Harriet Heron's life is almost over before it has even begun. At just twenty-three years of age, she is an invalid, over-protected and reclusive. Before it is too late, she must escape the fog of Victorian London for a place where she can breathe. Together with her devoted mother, Louisa, her god-fearing aunt, Yael, and a book of her own spells inspired by the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Harriet travels to a land where the air is tinged with rose and gold and for the first time begins to experience what it is to live. But a chance meeting on the voyage to Alexandria results in a dangerous friendship as Louisa's long-buried past returns, in the form of someone determined to destroy her by preying upon her daughter. As Harriet journeys towards a destiny no one could have foreseen, her aunt Yael is caught up in an Egypt on the brink of revolt and her mother must confront the spectres of her own youth.
It's the story about 3 women on a journey of a lifetime.
First there is Harriet who is slowly fading away in London. The air is killing her. She is fascinated with ancient Egypt and gets her doctor to say that the fresh warm air would be best for her (and it is, but Egypt is sure very far away.) She in her loneliness is actually something of a scholar. But at the same time she is very naive in her quest for freedom and to live.
Louisa is her mother and her secret from the past comes back to haunt them. I wished she had just told the truth, but ok the truth is hard but still. It could have saved them some trouble.
Yael is the aunt who is a devout Christian and see the plight of Egypt and wants to do something. And I did like what she did, she was no crusader, she was a humanitarian.
They are all running from something in a away and the each find something more. Well, almost.
A good story, an interesting location too.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published April 24th 2014 by Simon & Schuster Ltd (first published July 4th 2013)