Beneath a Burning Sky by Jenny Ashcroft (A Review by Tamara Ward)
Set back in British-occupied Egypt, a newly married woman lives with her abusive and neglectful husband who also happens to love her sister. As if that didn’t make her life complicated enough, she falls in love with a boarder in her house, even as a surprising tragedy hits even closer to home.
One of my favorite things about Ashcroft’s writing is how descriptive she is. Some books let you use your imagination, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I loved the unique way she created a world for me where I could smell the air and see the colors she so vividly described. I could literally picture myself in Egypt while I read this book.
The underlying theme of a woman’s resilience is one that wasn’t lost on me either. Despite the abuse, I don’t think anyone reading about Olivia would ever think to call her timid or weak. She made calculated choices to endure her situation and found ways to sustain herself. Olivia at times, made me want to jump in and help her, but at other times, I also felt like sitting back and paying close attention, because I just knew there was a reason why she was going to come of her plight okay.
This is one of the best historical fiction books I’ve read in a long time and I look forward to reading more from this author.
I think this book is a good GBC future choice. I feel the GBC readers would be just as captivated by the plot as I was, and I can see a lot of lively discussions come out of more people reading it.
A Review by Tamara Ward