Friday 1 October 2021

The Collector's Daughter by Gill Paul BLOG TOUR @GillPaulAUTHOR @AvonBooksUK @RandomTTours #TheCollectorsDaughter


An unforgettable discovery

In 1922, Lady Evelyn Herbert’s dreams are realised when she is the first to set foot inside the lost tomb of Tutankhamun for over 3,000 years.

A cursed life

But the months after the discovery are marred by tragedy, when Eve’s father dies suddenly and her family is torn in two. Desperate to put the past behind her, Eve retreats into a private life with her new husband.

A deadly choice

But she is harbouring a dark secret about what really happened in Egypt. And when a young woman comes asking questions years later, the happiness Eve has finally found is threatened once more…

The Collector's Daughter by Gill Paul was published on 30 September 2021 by Avon. My thanks to the author who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour.

This is sweeping and evocative story that begins in London in the early 1970s and takes the reader back to hot, sultry Egypt during the discovery of the Tutankhamun tomb.

I have to admit that unlike most people, I've never been overly interested in the Egyptian tombs, of course I had heard about the so-called 'curse' that followed those who entered the Tutankhamum resting place, but I honestly had no idea that Lady Evelyn Herbert, a young gentlewoman from rural England had been part of the discovery. I have learned so much and it's been an absolutely fascinating ride. 

Gill Paul specialises in creating fictional stories, based on the truth. In The Collector's Daughter, she has taken Evelyn, or Eve as she is known to those closest to her and given her centre stage in the story. All too often, women in history have been disregarded, given a fleeting mention, or used as a photo opportunity. Within this wonderful novel, she is the star. Her love for her father, and their shared passion for Egypt shines through. Eve grows into a determined, passionate and loyal woman, extraordinarily knowledgeable and an expert in her field. 

The reader meets Eve in 1972, she's just suffered a stroke. This is not the first stroke that she's had, she has suffered ill-health since the 1930s when she was involved in an accident. I have to give my personal thanks to the author for the sensitive way that she dealt with the effects of the stroke. Just before I began to read the book, my own Mum had a stroke. The author did warn me about the content, but I chose to continue to read, and I'm glad that I did. Whilst it tugged at my heart, it was also a comfort to me and I know that the author has her own personal family experiences to draw upon too. She'd did it so very well. 

We go back and forth, from the 1920s, right through until the 1980s and follow Eve's life journey. Along with the wonderful experience of being involved in the Tutankhamun find, she also married Brograve, raised a daughter and became an active fundraiser and organiser when Brograve became a Member of Parliament. We learn how the car accident affected her life, and of course, the rumours of the 'curse' linger throughout the story. Eve is never quite convinced, yet questions why so many terrible things happen to so many of her closest friends and acquantainces.

It is the appearance of a young Egyptian woman, towards the end of the story that really explains just what did happen during that incredible discovery, and as Eve's stroke creates more confusion for her and her memories become blurred, the reader really feels her struggles. 

This is a truly wonderful story. The historical settings, both in London and in Egypt are so beautifully created and Eve and her supporting cast of characters are lifelike and believable. I was entranced throughout, it's an absolute joy to read, and so educational too.  Highly recommended by me, 

Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specialising in the twentieth century and often writing about the lives of real women. Her novels have topped bestseller lists in the US and Canada as well as the UK and have been translated into twenty-one languages. The Secret Wife has sold over half a million copies and is a book-club favourite worldwide.

She is also the author of several non-fiction books on historical subjects. She lives in London and swims year-round in a wild pond. The Collector’s Daughter is her tenth novel.

Instagram @gill.paul1

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