A romantic, vivid novel about three women who leave Victorian London for Egypt—a tale of female empowerment, self-discovery, love, and the absolution that comes from facing the secrets of our pasts.
Harriet Heron’s life is almost over before it has even begun. At just twenty-three years of age, she is an invalid, overprotected 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 on 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 Louisa must confront the ghosts of her own youth.
The Sacred River is an indelible depiction of the power of women and the influence they can have when released from the confines of proper English society. In the tradition of Kate Chopin and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, writer Wendy Wallace spins a tale of three women caught between propriety and love on a journey of cultural awakening through an exquisitely drawn Egypt. Sumptuous and mesmerizing, this provocative novel about finding your rightful place in the world is a beautiful, tantalizing read.
Wallace (The Painted Bridge) captures the essence of Victorian-era Egypt in this charming tale of three women, all searching for their freedom. At 23, asthmatic Harriet Heron has long been considered an invalid in her native London. When her breathing problem worsens, she; her mother, Louisa; and her aunt Yael head for Egypt, where they believe the air will be better. Harriet is enchanted to finally see for herself the tombs and other ancient ruins. But during the journey, Louisa's past and present merge with the arrival of the mysterious Eyre Soane, who is bent on revenge and threatens to reveal Louisa's deepest, most shameful secret. But he won't stop there he also threatens to court the fragile Harriet as part of the price for Louisa's earlier decisions. And deeply spiritual Yael, upon seeing the terrible poverty in Egypt, makes it her mission to feed the hungry natives and teach them basic childcare skills but how will the budding revolution affect those plans? Wallace skillfully weaves all three subplots into a lush, original, and page-turning narrative a lovely armchair journey to an Egypt of long ago.