The Tenth Gift
By Jane Johnson
(Crown, Hardcover, 9780307405227, 400pp.)
Publication Date: May 6, 2008
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The art of embroidery uncannily links two fascinating women of different eras and their equally passionate love stories
In an expensive London restaurant, Julia Lovat receives a gift that will change her life. At first glance it is a book of exquisite seventeenth-century embroidery patterns belonging to a woman named Catherine Ann Tregenna. Yet in its margins are the faintest diary entries; they reveal that “Cat” and others were stolen from their Cornish church in 1625 by Muslim pirates and taken on a brutal voyage to Morocco to be auctioned off as slaves. Captivated by this dramatic discovery, Julia sets off to North Africa to determine the authenticity of the book and to uncover more of Cat’s mesmerizing story. There, in the company of a charismatic Moroccan guide, amid the sultry heat, the spice markets, and exotic ruins, Julia will discover buried secrets. And in Morocco—just as Cat did before her—she will lose her heart.
Set almost 400 years apart, the stories of these two women converge in an extraordinary and haunting manner that will make readers wonder—is history fated to repeat itself?
A literary mystery, historical adventure, and dual love story, The Tenth Gift literally crosses genres with narrative ease and prose that is as captivating as the characters who people this unforgettable tale.
JANE JOHNSON is the Publishing Director at HarperCollins UK. While she was researching the story of an ancestor stolen by pirates, remarkable events changed her life. She now works remotely for part of the year from a Berber village in the mountains of Morocco.