It’s 1972. Lady Evelyn “Eve” Herbert is recovering from a stroke. Her husband Sir Brograve Beauchamp is close by. While trying to regain her memory, Eve is visited by Ana Mansour, an Egyptian who is researching the treasures of King Tutankhamun’s tomb. When Eve was twenty-one-year-old, she and her father, the Earl of Carnarvon, accompanied archaeologist Howard Carter as the tomb was opened in 1922. Ana believes that valuable treasures were taken at that time and she is trying to locate them and return them to Egypt. The dual timeline shifts to Egypt, 1922 and the story of one of the greatest archaeological finds in history. Years before, Eve’s father had obtained a concession to excavate sites in Egypt and Carter was hired to supervise. Their years of work had finally paid off. Following the discovery of King Tut’s tomb and its worldwide notoriety, the rumors of its curse started to spread.
Beyond the history of King Tut’s tomb, this is a story about a woman from a very priviledged background (Eve was raised in Highclere Castle, the real Downton Abbey) who marries for love. Eve comes from a complex family filled with lots of drama. While this book is fiction, its major characters are all historical figures and the circumstances surrounding King Tut’s tomb are based on the author’s impressive research. It had been common practice for archeologists to be able to keep some of what they found but the guidelines were shifting at the time King Tut’s tomb was discovered which leads to the search for missing artifacts.
The Collector’s Daughter is a very interesting look at a compelling part of history adapted into this appealing fictionalized version. Author Gill Paul does a good job weaving the two time periods together. While the history of King Tut's tomb is fascinating, the 50-year love story between Eve and Brograve provides the book's true appeal.
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Rated 4 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: September 7, 2021.