Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell

I was so pleased when I was chosen to receive one of the LibraryThing Early Review copies of Dreamers of the Day. I haven't read any of Mary Doria Russell's other books, but I have friends who have raved over them. I wasn't disappointed!

The book is set right after World War I has ended. Agnes Shanklin is the only survivor in her family of the 1918 flu, and has thus inherited quite a bit of money. She uses a portion of this money to travel to Egypt (and Palestine), a trip she has always longed to take, especially after her sister lived in the Holy Land as a missionary's wife. Right at the beginning of her visit, she happens to meet T.E. Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia), who had been friends with her sister before he became so well-known. Through Lawrence, Agnes rubs elbows with the likes of Winston Churchill, among others.

I learned a lot about the politics of the time while reading this book, and I would like to read more. Russell mentions several books in her Acknowledgments that she used while writing the book, and some of these sound like they would be very interesting reads.

The book will be released on March 11, and I would definitely recommend it.

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