Today is the paperback publication of The Sacred River by Wendy Wallace. This is Wendy's second Victorian historical novel and it tells the story of Harriet Heron, a young woman who has spent her entire life being cosseted in the family's London home due to her fragile state of health.
Harriet is an avid reader, obsessed with books about Egypt - and specifically the Rosetta Stone. Yearning to travel to that land, her dreams eventually come true when her mother, Louisa, takes advice from a spiritualist medium. The rest of the novel is taken up with the events that occur on that journey, during which Harriet is accompanied by her mother, and also her Aunt Yael. And while on that journey each of the three women will face their own demons, and destinies - leading to a dramatic conclusion that is exceptionally moving.
Wendy Wallace's writing is beautiful, with a keen observation of character and a subtle sense of integrity. Highly recommended to all fans of Victorian fiction - especially those who desire something a little more intellectual than those novels which simply tend to rely on the all too familiar 'Victorian' themes.
Below is a film trailer for the book which will give a good sense of the atmosphere. Enjoy!
For more about Wendy and her books, see www.wendywallace.co.uk.