The Collector’s Daughter
May 12, 2021

Book Review

The Collector’s Daughter

Gill Paul

London, 1972: Eve is in her early seventies, and after another stroke she’s working to regain her speech at a rehabilitation center. It’s here that she receives a visitor from Egypt – Dr. Ana Mansor. Mansor has been engaged in a research project and has found some anomalies in archives around the finds of Tutankhamun’s tomb.

The memory of the discovery gives Eve a spark and motivation to improve her speech, but there is something she doesn’t want to reveal.

Luxor, 1919: Eve comes from a privileged family, a daughter of Lord Carnarvon, who funds the exploration of Tutankhamun’s tomb. While her mother plans to marry her well, to a man of certain social standing, Eve dreams of an equal partnership, a man who will share a passion for travel and who will accept her being a lady archeologist. She has been coming to Egypt with her family since she was six years old, but never had a chance to visit Luxor and the Valley of the Kings.

At eighteen, she is here at last and Howard Carter, who with her father indulged her curiosity from a young age, shows her how to dig during her first winter in the Valley. It is the beginning of an extraordinary journey, which also has some questionable events afterwards. After the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, there is a chain of illnesses experienced by different people. Some claim it’s due to the disturbance of the spirits in the tomb. Is it?

Egypt becomes an independent state shortly before the discovery of the tomb. Thus, the rules regarding the finds in any tomb are changing constantly. It is fairly normal for archeologists to keep some mementos.

It’s a wonderful experience to be right there when the discovery happens and how it all leads to it and what happens afterwards; and to get to know all those who were involved in this discovery. It is a lifetime experience that we’re granted through this story. Nevertheless, most of the story is set in England.

The Collector’s Daughter is revealed in flashbacks switching between two timelines. The story beautifully gains depth, both in character development and in keeping readers in suspense around the discovery of the tomb. The flashbacks are woven artfully, with a smooth flow and enjoyable storyline. This is an engaging story written with depth and suspense.

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