Heart of Light
Sarah A. Hoyt
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East meets West across time and tradition as three young American women and their Indian immigrant mothers take first steps toward true sisterhood, shattering secrets and sharing joy and tears in Sarah A. Hoyt's
Heart of Light
.




Buy *Heart of Light* by Sarah A. Hoyt online

Heart of Light
Sarah A. Hoyt
Spectra
Paperback
528 pages
February 2008
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Heart of Light is a very enjoyable book in that it is unclear, the whole way through reading it, what will happen at the end. So many books are predictable that to find one that takes the reader on a voyage of discovery and surprise is a real treat.

As the Heart of Light opens, we travel with Nigel Oldhall and his new wife, Emily, as they travel by flying carpet to Egypt for their supposed honeymoon. However, Nigel actually has an additional important reason for the trip: he's been sent on a mission to find a magical ruby which will ensure Queen Victoria's hold on India forever. Unfortunately, things start to go wrong from the beginning; Nigel and Emily's honeymoon doesn't really get off the ground before Nigel discovers his contacts in Cairo have been killed. The shadowy group known as the Hyena Men are apparently also after the ruby, and when Emily does something to get herself dragged into the quest, things get even worse.

The majority of the book takes place as Nigel, Emily, and a friend of Nigel's named Peter Farewell travel through the African landscape in their search for the ruby. They are accompanied by many native bearers, including the enigmatic Kitwana and the Masai woman Nassira. The point of view changes chapter by chapter as we follow events through the eyes of those four characters. Some surprises are unveiled, but much of the action is in the characters' minds as they begin to understand what the quest is about. The British attitude towards the native is well portrayed throughout the book and is toe-curlingly embarrassing, especially as it seems historically accurate. Though the book loses its way in the middle a little as Nigel and Emily keep suspecting each other of various things on the slimmest of evidence, overall it is a good read with an interesting magical element and a surprising resolution in terms of the relationships between the main characters.

The book doesn't end at a particularly clear point, and there is a follow-up book to be published which continues the story. However, it's a good enough read in its own right, and the African setting certainly gives it more punch than a traditional Victorian novel.



Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Helen Hancox, 2008

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