"Arabia will tear your heart out," an elderly statesman tells Rose Chetwynd, "then show you who you really are." The young bride learns the truth of these words almost immediately and ponders them throughout this historical romance of British colonialism and Islamic revolt. Sian Thomas performs the body of the narration with graceful fluidity of timing and subtle modulation of tone. Her portrayal of Rose begins with youthful innocence and ages imperceptibly with the character as she becomes a believable 50-ish author of substance. However, Hassan, Rose's main love interest, turns almost comical with Thomas's attempts to invoke both male vocal characteristics and an Arabic accent. Too bad, since Knox-Mawer's writing of him provides a believable and complex character to work with. R.P.L. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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