Caravan

Caravan

5.0 1
by Dorothy Gilman
     
 

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"A lushly romantic adventure story set in the North African desert in 1914, told by the impeccable Lady Treal as she reminisces in her London town house about her decidedly peccable past...Well-written, expertly plotted, perfectly paced."
NEWSDAY
With her anthropologist husband murdered and their caravan stolen by fierce Tuareg tribesmen, Caressa's

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Overview

"A lushly romantic adventure story set in the North African desert in 1914, told by the impeccable Lady Treal as she reminisces in her London town house about her decidedly peccable past...Well-written, expertly plotted, perfectly paced."
NEWSDAY
With her anthropologist husband murdered and their caravan stolen by fierce Tuareg tribesmen, Caressa's choices are death or a life of slavery. Concealing her dangerous beauty beneath the faded robes of an Arab boy, she embarks on the adventrue of her life, harassed by vicious nomads, slave traders and the envious witch doctor, Isa. Only a handful of carnival magic tricks stand between her and oblivion. Then she discovers an inner magic so mysteriously compelling that the desert people call her a sorceress. With it she will secure her freedom and discover the love of her life....

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The author of the Mrs. Pollifax mysteries applies her talents to romance and danger in this entertaining tale of a young American woman's unexpected adventures in Africa during the early years of WW I. Raised in a circus by her widowed mother (the headless woman) and fortune-telling Grams, who teaches her to juggle and pick pockets, Caressa Horvath is sent to a Boston finishing school, which she leaves after she is caught lifting the wallet of world traveler Jacob Bowman. Capturing his heart, she marries him shortly before they embark for Tripoli, where they assemble a caravan and set off into the Sahara. They are attacked by fierce nomad Tuareg bandits, who kill everyone except Caressa because they fear her wooden finger puppets, made by Grams. A credible series of mishaps, trials and moments of courage keep Caressa alive as she and Bakuli, a captured Zambian youth, escape into the desert. Eventually they are taken as slaves; after helping Bakuli run away to freedom, Caressa is bought by a man who turns out to be a Scottish adventurer--and the love of her life. Encompassing betrayal, treachery, sorrow, heroism and ultimately reunion, Caressa's first-person story, begun in 1980 in order to inform her granddaughter of her background, offers sheer reading pleasure. (June)
Library Journal
Born into a carnival family at the turn of the 20th century, 16-year-old Caressa Horvath finds her life taking a dramatic turn when she attempts to rob Jacob Bowman, a rich, eccentric anthropologist 20 years her senior. Nothing daunted by their unconventional introduction, he marries her, and they travel to Tripoli to explore the Sahara Desert. Nomadic Tuaregs attack their caravan but spare Caressa's life, launching her three-year adventure in the desert, where she befriends a young boy named Bakuli, gets sold into slavery, and eventually meets her great love, a wandering Scotsman named Jared MacKay. Gilman, noted for her Mrs. Pollifax mysteries, takes a slightly different direction here, producing a lively, satisfying novel of adventure, danger, and romance. A good choice for most popular fiction collections.-- Maria A. Perez-Stable, Western Michigan Univ. Libs., Kalamazoo
Kirkus Reviews
In another departure (Incident at Badamya, 1989, etc.) from the author's Mrs. Pollifax mystery series, an exotic background again takes a leading role—this time, a role shared by 16-year-old Caressa Horvath. The time is pre-WW I, and Caressa—a budding beauty, daughter of a struggling carnival family, expert juggler, and pickpocket—has been sent with hard-saved money to a private school in Boston, to satisfy the mother who's determined to make a lady of her. Ever impoverished, Caressa makes an ill-judged attempt at theft that introduces her to wealthy linguist-anthropologist Jacob Bowman. He marries her, and soon after they leave on an exploratory mission to Africa—first to Tripoli, then across the Sahara. The expedition, through hostile Tuareg country, ends in disaster; but it's only a beginning for Caressa, taken captive, who will spend the next harrowing years fighting to survive enemies and the desert; finding friends; finding love—only to discover betrayal on her return to civilization. As her chronicle unfolds from the vantage of great old age, the reader will experience a land and an era brought to teeming life; share Caressa's highs and lows; and exult with her when the last laugh is hers. Gilman's best—and a tribute to the artful power of simple, old-fashioned storytelling in the hands of a master.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345492371
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/01/1995
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
576,778
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)

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