Brilliantly written. I loved the tone of this book -- it fits with the time setting, but in an ironic way.
Based on a true story of a Magician and his wife are sent to North Africa on a mission for Napoleon.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Emmeline is the young, lovely wife of Henri Lambert, a world-famous magician. But her secluded, bourgeois existence vanishes forever when she and her husband are summoned to the country estate of Napoleon III. Lambert's mission for the Emperor is crucial to his country's empire-building future. He and Emmeline are to travel to North Africa where, through his flawless illusionist's art, Lambert is expected to perform a near-miracle: to show the primitive Bedouins that France's power is absolute. But the Arab tribesmen are in thrall to another "Holy God," an aging marabout they look upon as a living saint - and their savior. It is up to Lambert, with the help of Emmeline, to be hailed as the greater magician. Only by demonstrating irrefutable proof of his magic can Lambert help the French imperialists quash imminent rebellion and complete their conquest of Algeria. The customs and ways of the Moorish people are strange to Emmeline - and strangely liberating. Beneath the mesmerizing glare of the North African sun, she finds herself succumbing to the attentions of Colonel Deniau, the charismatic chief of the Bureau Arabe. Gradually, she begins to shed her inhibitions, along with her provincial ideas of patriotism and propriety. It is Emmeline who threatens the outcome of the French mission and risks her own life in an act of courage and betrayal that will have unforeseen and dangerous consequences, and leave her profoundly changed. Inspired by a true story, set against the breathtaking landscape of our not-too-distant past, The Magician's Wife sweeps from the splendor and pageantry of the French court to the majesty and mystery of the Sahara.
Historical fiction about France's occupation of Algiers. A very interesting read-I recommend it!
This is a delightful book. If you like "Girl With The Pearl Earring", you will love this story. Supposedly based on actual events author, Brian Moore, tells the tale of Emmeline Lambert, wife of magician Henri Lambert, who has been asked by Napoleon III to go to Algeria to perform his illusions before the rebellious Bedouins in hopes of bringing them in line before the French invade their country. Emmeline at first falls in love with the beauty and mystery of North Africa and then begins to understand the people and what will happen to them when the French arrive. Taken from the back cover.... 'Yet it is Emmeline--strangely liberated by Arab custom, shedding inhibitions along with provinical ideas of patriotism and propriety--who threatens the mission's outcome in a dangerous act of courage and betrayal that will have unforeseen consequences and leave her profoundly changed.'
I read this book in one day, just couldn't put it down.
I quite enjoyed this novel, especially after reading the fast moving, emotion charged Suzanne Collins series (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay). Wife is a departure from many of the heavier HF novels I pick up. This is light, quick to read and is placed in the era where Napoleon was planning to capture Algeria. Inspired by a true story, it gives one a glance into the culture, political intrigue, and religious beliefs and activities of the time - a most interesting little read.