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YOU Reading Group: The English Girl

Sunday 11th December 2016



Joan Seabrook, a would-be archaeologist, has had a fascination with the Arabian desert since her childhood, when her father regularly read to her from One Thousand and One Nights. Now, at the age of 26, she finally hopes to see it for herself, when she and her fiancé Rory travel to the Gulf state of Oman to stay with a diplomat friend inthe ancient capital city of Muscat.

It turns out to be the trip of a lifetime, but not for the reasons she had imagined. It is 1958 and the country is in the middle of an armed insurrection, which prevents Joan from travelling to the interior. However, she seeks out local resident Maude Vickery, a legendary explorer in her day and one of Joan’s great heroines. Now old, frail and prickly, she is nevertheless still a force to be reckoned with and her friendship with Joan has dramatic consequences, putting lives and relationships at risk – including their own. This is an expansive piece of storytelling, full of adventure, betrayal, shocking secrets and passion...


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