The Mistress of Abha

The Mistress of Abha

2.95 (72 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The year is 1930 and the British are in Arabia. Ivor Willoughby, a young Orientalist, embarks on an ambitious quest to find his father, an officer abroad with the British Army. In all of Ivor's life, Robert has returned to England only once, bedraggled and wild-eyed with tales of As'ir, a land of Sheikhs and white-turbaned bandits, where he is fighting alongside Captain Lawrence and is known by the name 'Ullobi'. After that single meeting which left such a mark on his son, Robert is never heard from again. Ten years on, Ivor must find out what became of him. So he sets out on the journey of a lifetime. Travelling to Cairo to join the Locust Bureau, then circuitously to Abha, Yemen, and along the Red Sea coast, Ivor searches everywhere for clues about Ullobi, but no one appears to remember him. Or perhaps they are afraid to admit to it. Along the way Ivor hears whispers of a woman warrior called Na'ema who was once a slave. Her story seems tantalizingly connected with his father's, and Ivor finds himself in the misty heights of Ayinah looking for an Abyssinian seer who was carried on the same slave ship as Na'ema in 1914 and might unlock the mystery. In this dazzling epic, William Newton brings to life Lawrence's Arabia in fascinating and vivid detail. "The Mistress of Abha" is a tale of Empire, of wild daring, of devastating love and an utterly surprising heroine.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 135 x 216 x 32mm | 456g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0747598975
  • 9780747598978
  • 1,773,144

Review quote

PRAISE FOR THE TWO POUND TRAM: 'Very occasionally one comes across a book which, in its unexpected delights, inspires one to leap about wild with praise, and rush out to buy copies for friends. This first work by William Newton, retired doctor, will surely have this effect on many readers ... Newton is a wonderful find, it's my book of the year and I shall give it to everyone for Christmas' Spectator 'I predict that this book will become something of a cult. There is an obvious surface charm to the elegant writing, whimsical story and delightfully Shell-Guide-style jacket. But beneath that it has enough of the unexpected, the unexplained, even the weird, to go on haunting the reader's imagination long after he has put the book down' Country Life 'The Two Pound Tram deserves to be a classic, as much beloved by grandparents as by grandchildren and every generation in between. Don't miss it' Saga 'Enchanting' Guardianshow more

About William Newton

William Newton's debut novel, The Two Pound Tram, won the Sagittarius Award, was shortlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel and sold over 60,000 copies. The Mistress of Abha is his second novel. William Newton died in March, 2010.show more

Rating details

72 ratings
2.95 out of 5 stars
5 6% (4)
4 29% (21)
3 29% (21)
2 28% (20)
1 8% (6)
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