Occasionally I’m given an audiobook book to narrate that causes me to fall ever so slightly in love. I can’t stop thinking about one or more of the characters or the book. There’s something about the author’s spirit that feels familiar. I’m restless and distracted until I can be back in the studio, inhabiting the characters and world that I feel connected to and that I’ve been given the task of bringing to audio life.
This happened to me with bestselling author Kate Furnivall’s new novel, Shadows on the Nile just released in the US by Tantor audio. (To purchase and listen to a sample click Shadows on the Nile. )
When we think of Egypt these days we usually think of war, kidnappings, violence and death. It’s been awhile since the great civilization that preceded Rome made it into the news.
Remember Tutenkhamen? The Valley of the Kings? You will when you listen to this one.
Oh, right! Egypt! That Egypt.
Shadows on the Nile starts in 1912. Jessie hears a scream in the night coming from her young brother, Georgie, who has autism – and she wakes to find him gone. Haunted by the same nightmare, twenty years later Jessie’s other brother disappears. Desperate to find him, Jessie is led into a world of seances, mystics and Egyptian artifacts.
We get to visit the Valley of the Dead and members of the Muslim brotherhood, which started at around that time. We’re in the hands of a master storyteller, so while being hugely entertained we also get a sense of how modern day Egypt came to be.
It’s a rollicking adventure full of excitement with an unlikely hero – Georgie – who is so beautifully portrayed we get an authentic sense of what it might be like to be autistic ourselves.
There’s a love story too – between two people who dislike each other at first- and the narrative drive is unrelenting. You just have to know what happens next.
Sometimes it can be a jolt moving from one audiobook narration to another. But this time the transition was a smooth one.
The day after I finished Shadows of the Nile, I took a brief turn in the garden, to start thinking about my next audiobook The 200th Anniversary audio edition of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
As I re-acquainted myself with Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy, I thought about all the people who have read Jane Austen’s most famous novel since it first came out two hundred years ago. It was still as popular in the 1930’s as it is today.
As I take my turn, I imagine I’m a young woman escaping from the British Embassy party in Cairo in Kate Furnivall’s Egypt by pretending to have a headache. I don’t have a headache at all. I just want to get back to the book I’m reading – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I get into bed and reach under the mosquito net for the leather bound copy of Pride and Prejudice that my grandmother gave me for my birthday.
I want to find out if the hero and heroine, who dislike each other at first, will come to realize, by the end of the book, that they have already found true love.
And I read all night because, as is always the case with a marvelous book, I just have to know what happens next. . .
Visit Kate Furnivall’s website at www.katefurnivall.com.
For more info about Alison, visit www.alisonlarkin.com .