Mistress of Nothing
By Kate Pullinger
I just really liked the title of this one (it also had an enchanting cover which, as you know, always makes me pick a book up).
The Mistress of Nothing chronicles ladies maid Sally as she travels to drier lands with her mistress who is ill and trying to escape death by tuberculosis. Leaving England is not too difficult for Sally, as she has always enjoyed escaping her domestic life by visiting museums. Sally is also extremely loyal to her mistress and willing to do (almost) anything for her.
It is only when things take a decidedly different turn for Sally that things get really interesting.
Stuck in a house in a small village in Egypt with only her mistress and a new-found freedom, Sally finds her way into a difficult situation with choices she isn't prepared to make.
The author does a fabulous job of pulling the reader into Sally's world; a world of loyalty, love, and power. The scenery is described with beautiful detail and even the mundane daily tasks become intriguing with the author's crisp prose.
I didn't want to put the book down because I just knew it was leading to some gripping climax. I didn't have to wait too long.
My thoughts about the ending of the book are a bit mixed. I won't go into the details (spoilers, you know), but I was a bit sad with the way things turned out. I could think of a few other endings that would definitely have been better.
Every time I read a book that I'm enjoying, I seem to not like the ending. Sometimes it's just because it's the end and I don't want it to be over. Sometimes it's because the author just got to the good part. Sometimes it's because the story took a wrong turn and ended up somewhere it shouldn't have been. Sometimes I think I could have written it better. Perhaps someday I will.