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Mistress Of Nothing [Paperback]

Kate Pullinger
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 13 2010
Lady Duff Gordon is the toast of Victorian London society. But when her debilitating tuberculosis means exile, she and her devoted lady's maid, Sally, set sail for Egypt. It is Sally who describes, with a mixture of wonder and trepidation, the odd menage (marshalled by the resourceful Omar) that travels down the Nile to a new life in Luxor. When Lady Duff Gordon undoes her stays and takes to native dress, throwing herself into weekly salons, language lessons and excursions to the tombs, Sally too adapts to a new world, which affords her heady and heartfelt freedoms never known before. But freedom is a luxury that a maid can ill-afford, and when Sally grasps more than her status entitles her to, she is brutally reminded that she is mistress of nothing. 
**Winner of the Governor General's Award for Fiction in 2009

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Product Description


"A subtle observation of the play of power and love" (Lisa Appignanesi)

"gritty, moving, and utterly believable" (Globe and Mail)

“Pullinger has created a compelling study of love in all its guises. The relationships are gritty, complicated by duty and caste: mother and son, husband and (multiple) wives, and the interaction between a lady and her mistress.” (Quill & Quire)

"The Mistress of Nothing serves up spicy passion and romance and biting social comment in one delicious dish. Kate Pullinger's fascinating novel brings 1860s Cairo and Luxor to life, not as an Orientalist fantasy, but as they might actually have been." (Anthony Sattin)

“I couldn't stop reading this wonderful book and was sad when it was over. Kate Pullinger's skill is to make you feel like the confidante of her strong and unconventional heroine as she journeys down the Nile into the greatest adventure of her life. Highly recommended.” (Julia Gregson, author of East of the Sun)

"Pullinger is equally unerring at conveying the subtle cruelties of power relationships and the incremental dawnings of love and affection. Coupled with this is an almost painterly ability to depict an Egypt alternately parched and sumptuous – both literally and metaphorically." (Metro (London))

"Incorporating actual quotes from the real Lady Duff Gordon's letters, and endowing Sally with tremendous character, Pullinger successfully imagines an ordinary life in extraordinary circumstances." (Publishers Weekly)

"Tantilizing. . . Sally's observations. . .bring this lost world to life." (The New York Times Book Review)

From the Publisher

Winner of the 2009 Governor General's Literary Award for English language fiction. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging read
I chose this book because I heard on CBC it had something to do with Brooks, Alberta and I work in Brooks part-time. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Joan MacIntyre
4.0 out of 5 stars review
The book was picked for our Book club for March so we haven't discussed it yet. I finished it just a few days ago. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Karen Mudge
4.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts...
I admit that the premise of the 2009 Governor General's Award for fiction didn't exactly excite me: Lady Duff-Gordon, a passionate intellectual suffering from tuberculosis, moves... Read more
Published on May 30 2011 by Reader Writer Runner
4.0 out of 5 stars An exotic and suspenseful Victorian era romance
Lady Duff Gordon is the toast of Victorian London society. But when her debilitating tuberculosis means exile, she and her devoted lady's maid, Sally, set sail for Egypt. Read more
Published on March 8 2011 by Great Historicals
3.0 out of 5 stars well written, not very satisfying
In 1865, Lady Lucie Duff Gordon's Letters From Egypt were published, telling of her experiences as well-respected English woman forced to relocate to a warmer climate in order to... Read more
Published on Sept. 16 2010 by Andrea
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly written, trashy, irritating...
Those are just a few of the adjectives that immediately come to mind. As a Canadian, I am shocked and embarrassed that this book won the Governor General's award. Read more
Published on Aug. 14 2010 by Bethann McLaren
5.0 out of 5 stars Through the Looking Glass of History
Canadian novelist Kate Pullinger has written a real winner of a novel in her latest creation, "The Mistress of Nothing". Read more
Published on July 23 2010 by Ian Gordon Malcomson
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked this
For me, it was more than just a story - there was a real history here describing what life was actually like at the turn of the century.
Published on July 13 2010 by MS JUDI ROY
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written
I loved this book and hated for it to end! The language and descriptions of Sally's life in England and in Egypt are beautifully written. Read more
Published on May 11 2010 by Katydid
5.0 out of 5 stars Mrs. Q: Book Addict : Visit my blog for newest reviews.
Title: The Mistress of Nothing
Author: Kate Pullinger
Publisher: McArthur & Company
Pages: 248
Source: Publisher

'The Mistress of Nothing' was a... Read more
Published on Feb. 24 2010 by Mrs. Q: Book Addict
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