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From the award-winning author of The Memory Painter comes a sweeping and suspenseful tale of romance, fate, and fortune.
Semele Cavnow appraises antiquities for an exclusive Manhattan auction house, deciphering ancient texts—and when she discovers a manuscript written in the time of Cleopatra, she knows it will be the find of her career. Its author tells the story of a priceless tarot deck, now lost to history, but as Semele delves further, she realizes the manuscript is more than it seems. Both a memoir and a prophecy, it appears to be the work of a powerful seer, describing devastating wars and natural disasters in detail thousands of years before they occurred.
The more she reads, the more the manuscript begins to affect Semele’s life. But what happened to the tarot deck? As the mystery of her connection to its story deepens, Semele can’t shake the feeling that she’s being followed. Only one person can help her make sense of it all: her client, Theo Bossard. Yet Theo is arrogant and elusive, concealing secrets of his own, and there’s more to Semele’s desire to speak with him than she would like to admit. Can Semele even trust him?
The auction date is swiftly approaching, and someone wants to interfere—someone who knows the cards exist, and that the Bossard manuscript is tied to her. Semele realizes it’s up to her to stop them: the manuscript holds the key to a two-thousand-year-old secret, a secret someone will do anything to possess.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
There’s a touch of Dan Brown in Gwendolyn Womack’s century-hopping romantic thriller. Appraiser Semele Cavnow is preparing a series of rare manuscripts for auction when she finds a 2,000-year-old document addressed specifically to her. As she struggles to make sense of the antique and her attraction to its mysterious owner, Theo Bossard, Semele's life is turned upside down. We loved that Womack’s story transported us through time—from ancient Egypt to Soviet Russia—and that its ending was as surprising as it was satisfying.
Semele Cavnow, an expert in historical manuscripts, thinks the only complication of her job in Switzerland is the inappropriate sexual chemistry between her and Theo Bossard, her client. Grieving her father's sudden death and hurt by a fight with her mother, Semele retreats into her work. When she discovers a prophetic manuscript on her last day of the job, she embarks on a quest that stretches back through her personal history and all the way to the ancient world. The prophecy, written by a seer with ties to the library of Alexandria, contains vignettes from throughout history. These are much more interesting than Semele's story, which is both predictable and slightly melodramatic. With considerable attention to historical detail, Womack gives the readers windows into life in ancient Gundeshapur, Renaissance-era Milan and Paris, and revolutionary Russia. The destination isn't very satisfying, but the journey is delightful.
Read it twice!
I love how the past is woven into the story. I journeyed right along with Semele.
First time reading a book by this author. I’m truly impress on how she writes. I was pulled inside the pages with the first paragraph. This book reminded me a lot of Dan Brown. With similarities but is still the author’s own depth story.
I can’t wait to read more from her. And thank you for doing your homework with this story. It made it more special.
And THANK you for the price too!!!!
I couldn’t put this book down and ended up finishing it up in two days because it was so good!