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Review by Suze
Joan wants to have more excitement in her life. She's an archeologist and wants to see more of Arabia. Together with her fiancé Rory she travels to Oman. There's a war going on in the country and Joan's brother is one of the soldiers who's stationed there. Joan's hero Maud lives in Oman and she desperately wants to visit her. Maud was the first woman who managed to cross the desert in 1909. Joan loves to hear her stories. While she spends more time with Maud Joan realizes she wants to do things on her own. She has to accomplish something. She longs for an adventure and eventually she gets more than she thought she would...
The English Girl consists of two stories. One is set in 1958, the year that Joan visits Oman. The other story is Maud's history, which begins at the start of the twentieth century. I equally loved both stories and was eager to find out more about the two women. Joan is a little bit naïve at first, but while her whole life changes because of one single incident she becomes stronger and finally she can be the woman she wants to be. Maud used to be a famous adventurer, but she now lives a quiet life in Oman. Joan is curious to find out more about her. I was as well, I couldn't wait to find out what Maud's life was like before she decided to stay in Oman. I was immediately intrigued by this remarkable woman.
The ending of the story is spectacular. I loved how Joan manages to come so close to everything she wants to achieve. Maud's story is heartbreaking and it brought tears to my eyes. Katherine Webb's descriptions of the desert, the political climate and her main characters are amazing. Her vivid writing and attention to details make the story come to life very well. The English Girl is a long story that requires time and patience from the reader which I gladly invested. It has so many layers that are all being peeled off bit by bit. A lot of research went into this book and it shows. The unusual setting fascinated me and I loved how Katherine Webb has chosen two women who are way ahead of their time as her main characters.
The English Girl is a beautiful story. There's so much power in the strength of the two main characters. I loved how headstrong and resilient they are. This book blew me away. As usual I loved Katherine Webb's writing, it always enchants me and it takes me to different worlds and times. It also makes me think, because she writes about the same incidents with views and opinions from many different angles. If you like a fantastic story with impressive main characters you will definitely enjoy The English Girl, it's absolutely brilliant.