Wednesday, August 6, 2014

New Release: The Visitors

When The Visitors by Sally Beauman arrived in the mail, I read the synopsis and thought "whoever sent this knows me well!" Then I remembered that I requested it from the publisher so apparently I'm the one who knows myself well ... but still! It was nice to have it arrive and still be excited about it. Now that I've finished it, I still feel the same. I loved this story.

Moving between the present-day life of Lucy Payne as an nonagenerian in England and her childhood trips to Egypt at a significant point in history, the season before and during the discovery of the tomb of King Tutankhamun, this is an historical fiction that makes use of all the known accounts of this event. Though the main character and her family are fictional, many of the characters are not. Together, they all form a narrative tapestry of friendship, competition, belief, memory, loss and death.

photo by k
I've had a fascination with this time and place in history for many years and am pretty well read in both fiction and non-fiction about it. This book definitely had the possibility of being a disappointment but it wasn't in the slightest. From modern-day Highgate to the Winter Palace hotel in Luxor to Lord Carnarvon's Highclere Castle (yes, Downton Abbey) and back to the Valley of the Kings, all of the settings were appealing and believable. The research was impeccable and I truly enjoyed this return to the tomb of the Boy King, to view his treasures but also to consider them in context of the true treasures of friendship and scholarship. This book was a treat.

Re-discovering everything,

p.s. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher.


  1. Oh this sounds VERY fun--right up my alley. I'll keep an eye out for it at the library.

    1. It made me want to go back and reread all of the Amelia Peabody books. :)