Thursday, August 23

Book Review: The Mistress of Nothing

Title: Mistress of Nothing

Author: Kate Pullinger

Pages: 248

Summary: When Lady Duff Gordon, toast of Victorian London society, departs for the hot, dry climate of Egypt to seek relief from the debilitating effects of her tuberculosis, her devoted lady’s maid, Sally, doesn’t think twice about remaining by her mistress’ side.

Sally and Lady Duff Gordon throw themselves into their exotic surroundings, adopting native dress, learning Arabic, and visiting the tombs of the ancient pharaohs. Along the way, Sally comes to experience freedoms she, as a servant, has never known before, as well as her first taste of romance.

But freedom and luxury that a maid can ill-afford, and when Sally grasps far more status entitles her to, she is brutally reminded that she is the mistress of nothing.

My Rating: 6.75/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: The book started out fine for me, but it was predictable. From the start I knew how it would all play out, so it did lose a lot of its appeal, because I was able to predict a lot of the events that happened in the plot.

The writing was well done and I enjoyed the way the story was told. I both liked and disliked how much was left out of the story. There were gaps in the story line, but because it was being retold from memory, it worked out well. Yet, I still found myself wanting a little more details to help link everything together. I also enjoyed the look at the life in Egypt and the characters adapting to living there. Characterization was alright. Unfortunately, I didn't like the characters. I didn't dislike them either, but there wasn't much there for me to want to completely submerge myself within the book. For me, they were just part of the story. They were well written, but they didn't have that extra push for me to love the them, or their story.

Overall the book wasn't bad, but not my favourite either.

Would I recommend it to read: I'm on the fence with this one. It has both good and not so good aspects to it. Unsure about this one.

What to read next: Nefertiti

Challenges: 12 in 12, 100+ Challenge, Canadian Book Challenge VI, Global Reading Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge, New Author Challenge

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