Title: The Sacred River
Author: Wendy Wallace
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Review copy from publisher
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 by Wendy Wallace is the story of three women, mother, daughter, and aunt and their journey of self-discovery.
Harriet, the daughter, has suffered all her life of severe asthma. The weather and pollution of London hasn’t helped with her condition and she knows she doesn’t have much time left. Her doctor knows this as well and recommends her parents to take her to Egypt, where the drier and warmer climate would be beneficial for her. Her parents only wanting the best for Harriet accept and decide that Harriet will travel immediately to Egypt with her mom, Louisa and her aunt, Yael.
Their journey is not only a physical one, but also one of self-discovery, forgiveness and rebirth, where they will encounter ghosts from the past and will discover inner strengths they didn’t know they posses.
The Sacred River is an evocative historical novel set in Victorian London and Egypt. Mrs. Wallace does an excellent job bringing to life the settings and the cultural differences. Her writing is elegant and flawless. The story is striking and will stay with you days after finishing the book.
The Sacred River was my first book by Wendy Wallace but I’m sure it won’t be my last. I recommend The Sacred River to historical fiction fans.
My Verdict: 4 Paws
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