The Visitors: A Novel

The Visitors A Novel Under the tablecloth Frances s hand reached for mine and clasped it I knew what it meant that clasp and the mischievous grateful glance that accompanied it it meant I was thanked that there were se

  • Title: The Visitors: A Novel
  • Author: Sally Beauman
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 158
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Under the tablecloth, Frances s hand reached for mine and clasped it I knew what it meant, that clasp and the mischievous grateful glance that accompanied it it meant I was thanked, that there were secrets here I could accept that I too had secrets who doesn t Sent abroad to Egypt in 1922 to recover from the typhoid that killed her mother, eleven year old Lucy is cauUnder the tablecloth, Frances s hand reached for mine and clasped it I knew what it meant, that clasp and the mischievous grateful glance that accompanied it it meant I was thanked, that there were secrets here I could accept that I too had secrets who doesn t Sent abroad to Egypt in 1922 to recover from the typhoid that killed her mother, eleven year old Lucy is caught up in the intrigue and excitement that surrounds the obsessive hunt for Tutankhamun s tomb As she struggles to comprehend an adult world in which those closest to her are often cold and unpredictable, Lucy longs for a friend she can love When she meets Frances, the daughter of an American archaeologist, her life is transformed As the two girls spy on the grown ups and try to understand the truth behind their evasions, a lifelong bond is formed Haunted by the ghosts of her past, the mistakes she made and the secrets she kept, Lucy disinters her past, trying to make sense of what happened all those years ago in Cairo and the Valley of the Kings And for the first time in her life, she comes to terms with what happened after Egypt, when Frances needed Lucy most.

    One thought on “The Visitors: A Novel”

    1. Sally Beauman begins her Acknowledgements by stating that The Visitors is a work of fiction. It “has a framework and a core that is fictional but the chapters that relate of Egyptian archaeology 1922-1932 and Saranac Lake in the 1930s are based on fact and the documented lives of real people: they are as accurate as historically possible as I have been able to make them.” I, myself, am left to ponder whether Lucy Payne, our narrator, is based upon Margaret Mace, daughter of Arthur Mace – t [...]

    2. Books like The Visitors are why I don't like assigning ratings in reviews. At various points, I could have rated this book two stars or four stars (on a scale of five). Nothing about this book really works like it should, the cover description is somewhat misleading, character motivations are not always consistent; there are at least three different novels stuffed into one and yet the book is overly long by a hundred pages or so. Did any of that affect my enjoyment of the book? Not at all. I hav [...]

    3. A well-researched and beautifully conceived novel set in Egypt and England during the 1920’s and dealing with the excavation of the tomb of King Tutankhamen. The story is told from the point of view of Lucy Payne, at the outset a 12 year-old, who is present for and observes all the work and entangled lives of those involved in the find. Howard Carter, Lord Carnarvon, Evelyn Herbert (the Lord’s daughter), Herbert and Helen Winlock and their young daughter, Frances, are all historical figures [...]

    4. I absolutely adored this novel!! This is the first novel that I have read of Beauman’s but I am looking forward, now, to going back and reading her other books! This book is an absolute pleasure to read! The style reminds me a bit of some of my other favorite English authors (Phil Rickman and Sarah Rayne), but what makes this one so successful is the way that Beauman so seamlessly blends fact and fiction in bringing to life the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in Egypt. But the book is about muc [...]

    5. 4.5 ★sAt over 500 pages in a small font, closely spaced, my edition of this novel is a bit of a doorstop. I approached it with some apprehension, as I’ve had recent bitter experiences of books that are too long and poorly put together as a consequence. Thankfully, The Visitors kept my attention all the way through, which is a tribute to the author’s skills as a writer and to the lively story she has created.The Visitors is a fictionalised account of all the goings-on and intrigue surroundi [...]

    6. If you harbored a childhood desire to be an archaeologist and watched The Mummy movies for more than just Brendan Fraser, you may well enjoy this novel about the controversial discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb. Beauman does a great job with her 1920s Luxor and England settings, and it’s fun to see Highclere Castle, the residence of Lord Carnarvon, get another fictional use (it’s where Downton Abbey is filmed).Rather than placing readers in the middle of the action with the explorers, th [...]

    7. I wanted to like this book, and I did enjoy the descriptions of Egypt - Cairo, the Valley of the Kings etc, and life in the 1920s around Highclere Castle. But I felt like I was missing something all through the book - in the beginning we know there is some mystery that the general public was not aware of at the time, although we don’t even know what the mystery is, and if the mystery is what I think it was - it seemed a bit of an anticlimax (and didn’t seem to explain all of the cryptic rema [...]

    8. When eleven year old Lucy Payne survives the typhoid that kills her American mother, her Cambridge academic father is unable, and unwilling, to cope with her. Taken by the redoubtable Miss Mack to Egypt to recuperate, this novel tells the story of Lucy’s life. We begin in Cairo in 1922 and travel through to the present, where an elderly Lucy is being questioned about her life for a documentary of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb.Much of this sumptuous novel is set in Egypt where Lucy make [...]

    9. I loved this. I am a sucker for Egyptian historical fiction. Allen Drury's book, "A God Against the Gods" about my beloved pharaoh, Akhenaten, is my all time favorite but I can safely say that "The Visitors" is now in second place. Those who might like this book:1. An appreciation for slow moving stories with lots of detail (this truly began to blossom at the 150 page mark for me.) 2. An interest in ancient Egypt, 1920's-1930's Britain and archaeology.3. Enjoy saga's. (Characters age as many as [...]

    10. I waffled between one and two stars for this book, but am swayed by how badly I want NO ONE ELSE to suffer through it. If I can manage to not do ALL CAPS FOREVER, I shall review it!

    11. I received an uncorrected proof copy of this book from HarperCollins. Beauman's historical novel recreates the true story of the hunt for Tutankhamun's tomb in Egypt's Valley of the Kings in the 1920s from the perspective of 11-year-old Lucy. Lucy is recovering from typhoid, which killed her mother. Lucy makes lifelong friends while in Egypt, and also gets to meet American archaeologist Howard Carter and his wealthy patron, Lord Carnarvon. Told in flashbacks, the elderly Lucy reminisces on her E [...]

    12. The Visitors is the eighth novel by British-born author, Sally Beauman. Employing the narration of eleven-year-old Lucy Payne, a recent survivor of a bout of typhoid fever that claimed her American mother, Beauman plunges the reader deep into 1920’s Egypt as it stands on the brink of Howard Carter’s amazing discovery: King Tutankhamun’s tomb. As her father, a classicist Cambridge don is unable to cope with a young daughter, Lucy has been brought to Egypt by her guardian, Miss Mack, who is [...]

    13. I loved this book! The story and setting were just wonderful. The author made Egypt and England come alive. The friendship between all the children and later, when they became adults, is what makes this story really good and had me flipping the pages. This is a story were you need a lot of free time to read it. I found myself reading and not realizing how long I had been reading, until looking up and seeing two or more hours had passed.The ending wasn't what I was hoping for. I would have loved [...]

    14. "You're my only witness, Miss Payne. Everyone else is dead. But you were there. Those crucial three days when the tomb was found, when Carter breached the wall into its antechamber, looked through and saw his "wonderful things"…You were close by. You knew the people involved. You witnessed the events after that, you watched the story unfold. To me, your memories are like a treasure house."- An interview with Lucy Payne in Sally Beauman's "The Visitors"Sally Beauman delivers an amazing piece of [...]

    15. Lucy Payne was eleven years of age when she first visited Egypt. She spends the rest of her life re-visiting it, dreaming of it, and finally, in old age, reminiscing about it. But her memories are revealed reluctantly - at least to outsiders. Much that happened in her past is painful to recall, and some of it has been kept secret for most of her life.Hers was a charmed childhood – one spent in the company of friends whose lives were so different from hers. It is in the company of these friends [...]

    16. I will give this 4 stars for the vivid characters and skillful evocation of the pageantry surrounding the search for King Tut's grave/Egyptian antiquities. Downton Abbey fans will appreciate the connection provided by Lord Carnarvon (whose wife's dowry financed the expeditions). But why did it have to be so sad?

    17. I absolutely loved Dark Angel by her, it is one of the best novels that I've ever read. However The Visitors, failed to really hold my attention. There were too many things happening and by the end a lot of things happened at the same time. The general pace of the novel is slow but later it picks up momentum; it just felt out of joint.I didn't enjoy this much, by about 400 pages I was thinking of not continuing but I did because I wanted to know how it ends. It had pretty similar characters to t [...]

    18. The scenes in Egypt are without a doubt some of the most breathtaking and minutely detailed scenes one will ever read. The narrative is so precise that it is easy for readers to forget that The Visitors is a work of fiction. In fact, based on the author’s notes and bibliography, one could argue that this is a work of nonfiction hiding within a fictional spine. For, Lucy interacts with all of the key figures in the exciting events of 1922, all of whom deftly come back to life under Ms. Beauman [...]

    19. I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this book that left me feeling only lukewarm overall. What I loved: There are bits of history sprinkled in to the story, with interesting characters and a backdrop of war and archaeological obsession of past years. I also loved that there were not necessarily all happy endings, which leads to a wonderfully realistic feel.What I hated: Boy was this a tedious read - just way way way too much! Too wordy, many boring parts that could have been cut. I also [...]

    20. My first encounter with archaeology was when I was very young and my mother purchased a book for my stepfather for Christmas one year. It was Howard Carter's book on Tut's Tomb. I was fascinated! It was so hard to wrap my head around the fact that that person had lived over 3,000 years ago! I just stared and stared at the images of the mummy and the treasures. I don't think I've actually ever read the book! I still have that book and an undergraduate degree in archaeology. I can't get enough of [...]

    21. I haven't enjoyed a book like this in a long time! Just beautifully written. The plot line is fantastic, her descriptions forming vivid pictures in my mind and the characters drew me along until I felt I knew them. And I have to say There were tears towards the end when the emotional story lines came together. Now it's finished, I feel a major book hangover coming on How will my next book ever hope to compare!

    22. Six stars! Two young girls become friends in Egypt during the time King Tut's tomb is discovered. Full of real characters and real happenings, the book keeps you excited and turning the pages. The book was painstakingly researched. It was so good, I was sorry when it ended. The friendship between the two girls touched me deeply. Loved this book. Highly recommend it to historical fiction fans. Again, great book!

    23. A unique, thoroughly readable, thoroughly enjoyable book. With a plot that centres on the fascinating discovery of the tomb of King Tutankhamun in 1922, it is surprising and impressive to say that the best part of this book was its rich and complex characters. The only downfall was some truly sloppy use of punctuation, which should have been corrected by an editor. Overall, though, I never wanted to put this book down, and I highly recommend it to lovers of character-driven historical fiction.

    24. This book promised so much but failed to deliver. Too long and the characters were not particularly likeable.

    25. Overlong and completely disjointed. Skim read the last 200 pages. Didn't care about anyone or anything by the end.

    26. It is oddly coincidental that I found myself reading The Visitors when I learned of the death of Leonard Nimoy. Nimoy obviously had legions of fans because of Spock. I was his fan because of In Search Of. I will always think of Sunday evenings in 1976 or 1977 with fondness. They used to show In Search Of followed by The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries. It was 90 blissful moments for a ten year old kid who loved nothing better than 'the mysterious and unexplained!!" Generally I was parked in fron [...]

    27. I enjoyed much of this novel by Sally Beauman. As I was reading I thought I should probably give her 'Rebecca's Tale' another try. I'd started reading that book on the recommendation of a friend who has very similar reading tastes and found it didn't pull me in, I attempted several times with the same result. So, I was relieved and pleased when I was immediately pulled into this story and found myself traveling back in time to Egypt and the events leading up to and including the discovery of Kin [...]

    28. A View from the FringeI wanted to like this, I really did. I admired Sally Beauman from the magnificent afterword she wrote for the Kindle edition of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, a masterly piece of feminist polemic. I have visited Egypt and was certainly prepared to be interested in the story of Howard Carter, his sponsor Lord Carnarvon, and their discovery in 1922 of the intact tomb of the boy pharaoh Tutankhamun. And if the story was told from the perspective of a precocious prepubescent girl [...]

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