The Mistress of Nothing

Paperback | September 1, 2010

byKate Pullinger

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Lady Duff Gordon is the toast of Victorian London society. But when her debilitating tuberculosis means exile, she and her devoted lady's maid, Sally, set sail for Egypt. It is Sally who describes, with a mixture of wonder and trepidation, the odd menage (marshalled by the resourceful Omar) that travels down the Nile to a new life in Luxor. When Lady Duff Gordon undoes her stays and takes to native dress, throwing herself into weekly salons, language lessons and excursions to the tombs, Sally too adapts to a new world, which affords her heady and heartfelt freedoms never known before. But freedom is a luxury that a maid can ill-afford, and when Sally grasps more than her status entitles her to, she is brutally reminded that she is mistress of nothing. 
**Winner of the Governor General's Award for Fiction in 2009

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From the Publisher

Lady Duff Gordon is the toast of Victorian London society. But when her debilitating tuberculosis means exile, she and her devoted lady's maid, Sally, set sail for Egypt. It is Sally who describes, with a mixture of wonder and trepidation, the odd menage (marshalled by the resourceful Omar) that travels down the Nile to a new life in L...

Kate Pullinger was born in Vancouver, and now lives in London. She is the author of TINY LIES, a collection of short stories, and the novels WHEN THE MONSTER DIES, WEIRD SISTER and A LITTLE STRANGER. She collaborated with Jane Campion on the novel of the film The Piano, and has written for film, television and radio. She teaches creati...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:264 pages, 7.8 × 5.28 × 0.63 inPublished:September 1, 2010Publisher:McArthur & CompanyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1552788687

ISBN - 13:9781552788684

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Customer Reviews of The Mistress of Nothing

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from It was easy to see why this is an award-winner. I enjoyed the characters and the setting of Egypt at this time period. Seeing both sides of the economic reality was fascinating.
Date published: 2014-07-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great historical read Totally mesmerizing story of a woman who tries to break free of her society's mores only to find that the limitations placed on her as a servant and woman are completely binding. Based on a true story.
Date published: 2013-07-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Hard knock life This book was slow to start and then really picked up about half way through. Notwithstanding, it was just ok. The author really made you care for Sally, the english maid, but after a while you just felt bad that her life never really got any easier. I became quickly frustrated with Lady Duff Gordon's character, and thought Omar lacked the spine and will of a true "leading man". This isn't a bad read, I'm happy to have gotten through it, but it definitely doesn't wow like some of the historical romances I've recommended below.
Date published: 2011-09-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A little slow to start, but picked up Thought that the first part of the book really dragged, but the second part really picked up in a big way. I found it interesting in that I was delved into a world that I really had no clue about and found it very fascinating. It was also fascinating that I was reading this book during the riots in Egypt, which their president was thrown out of office. It was also interesting because it showed what sort of double standard that men and women servants had in that society.
Date published: 2011-06-04

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

"Tantilizing. . . Sally's observations. . .bring this lost world to life."