I had high hopes for this one, which might have unfairly colored my opinion…but still, I was totally let down. The story is based on the true story of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb (hello, Amelia Peabody feels!). The narrator is a young girl who travels to Egypt to recover from typhoid and finds herself on the periphery of the discovery team.
As her life unfolds, various events occur that tie back into that time in 1920s Egypt. There is (weird) family drama, mysterious reports sniffing around her and her story as an old woman and just…a lot. Lots and lots of stuff packed into the book. Some of it makes sense, some of it is bizarre…ultimately though, it was boring. I was not invested in the characters or their stories – I love reading things set in historical Egypt, so I know it wasn’t just me!
Basically what I’m saying is that if you’re just curious about the time period, you should totally check out Amelia Peabody instead. If you’re already a fan? Definitely pick this up and see if your opinion differs from mine!
I’ve got a lot of thoughts about this one, you guys.
To start with, there are some icky family relationship issues that tie into the story. That isn’t something that especially bothers me when it isn’t overly graphic (other than said ick factor), but I’m just saying, fair warning. This story? It’s a weird one.
That being said, dude. The writing/storytelling is pretty phenomenal. The story, set on the Virgin Islands in the early 1900s, is so incredibly atmospheric. To the best of my recollection, I’ve never read anything set there before. Now I want more! All the Caribbean folklore and witchiness weaved into the story were fantastic. I also loved seeing bits and pieces of how the locals started trying to fit into life as newly minted Americans, and the part they played in WWII. Basically I’m saying that both the local and more national aspects to the story were fascinating.
The different ways all the characters connect is complicated, interesting, coincidental, fated…lots of words. In fact, the main relationship that the story kinda revolves around was so engaging that I pretty much ended up forgetting to be grossed out by the fact that they were siblings. (To be fair, they didn’t know – not a spoiler, there’s lots of heavy foreshadowing.)
Basically, if you aren’t afraid to tackle a story that’s a little…out there, shall we say? Pick this book up ASAP! The beautiful writing and atmospheric setting will wrap you up into the narrative so quickly that you won’t even realize how sucked in you are until the story spits you back out once you’ve finished.