Author:  Kate Pullinger
ISBN:  978-1-4391-9386-0
 
Click Here To Purchase The Mistress of Nothing: A Novel

It will come as no surprise, after readers immerse themselves in this soulful, in-depth debut novel, that this extremely well-written story full of diverse characters and rich, vibrant locations was the winner of Canada’s prestigious Governor General’s Literary Award.
 
Lady Duff Gordon is a fun, outspoken woman living with her loving husband and children in Esher, England in 1862.  Her largest fan seems to be her lady's maid, Sally.  Sally has been with Lady Gordon for many, many years, doing all she can within her power to make her life better and more comfortable.  In fact, Sally lets readers know up front that she has high praise for her long-time employer; she notes that the Lady made even the candles burn brighter when she walked into a room – that her presence was enough to make anyone and everyone glow with happiness.
 
Recently an illness has overtaken the Lady and she and Sally have spent quite a bit of time traveling to other parts of the globe in order to get Lady Gordon away from the cold, wet weather and into hot, dry air.  Arriving home from the exotic locales that they’ve visited, including the tip of Africa, the Lady’s doctors inform her that her health is still deteriorating – that the dry air didn’t seem to help her illness at all.  They recommend wholeheartedly that she pick up and travel once again before it gets so bad that she will be confined to her bed.  The Lady, who
has an unbreakable spirit and the courage to simply never say die, has to leave her beloved family once again – this time for Egypt.

 
Sally, although upset that her employer is in poor health is also elated that they are heading to such an unbelievably glorious destination.  In fact, Sally has spent almost every one of her day’s off (one a month) sitting in a museum in London and staring at the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery.  Sally simply thrives on the mystery and historical beauty of the world of the Pharaohs’, and has wondered what it would be like to walk through the real thing, staring at the majestic Pyramids and studying the real mummies that used to walk the magical land.  So when she hears that this is there new destination she can barely hide her excitement.
 
When they reach Alexandria they meet up with a young man named Omar; he’s a translator who can help the Lady and Sally learn the language and customs necessary to live a full life in their new country.  Although Lady Gordon is sometimes melancholy, because she truly needs the chatter of guests to make her feel as if she’s still alive and not curl up and die from the depression of not having her family with her, Sally and Omar seem to thrive at each other’s side.  Although married, Omar soon finds himself falling for Sally as they ride down the Nile and take up residence in Thebes. 
 
As they move into a house that was once home to the man who actually deciphered the Rosetta Stone, the world becomes a true adventure with amazing locales such as The Valley of the Kings.  But as Sally begins to finally find romance and a future for herself, the Lady Gordon seems to turn from the loving employer to the suddenly angry, jealous woman who makes sure to remind Sally that she is simply the help – the mistress of nothing.
 
This is a fantastic story that truly shows the clash of the social classes.  The friendship, romance, envy – the rainbow of human emotions is told against the backdrop of some of the most beautiful ancient worlds known to mankind.  The theme of the novel is unforgettable as the readers see the irony in the fact that the characters came to Egypt to beat death, and ended up finally finding a life.  Enjoy!
 
Click Here To Purchase The Mistress of Nothing: A Novel