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The Saffron Gate [Hardcover]

Linda Holeman
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Oct 2009
A young American woman's journey to track down her missing lover becomes an enthralling adventure of mystery, passion, danger and self-discovery set against the spellbinding backdrop of 1930s Marrakech.

Sidonie O'Shea enjoys the quiet life she shares with fiancé Etienne Duverger in upstate New York. But when Etienne suddenly disappears without word, she finds a letter amongst his belongings that turns her world upside down. Refusing to believe that Etienne would abandon her, Sidonie travels to Morocco in search of him, determined to know the truth. But nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover, both about the man she thought she loved and an unknown world of dangerous secrets in a country steeped in mystery...

Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (1 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755331117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755331116
  • Product Dimensions: 3.9 x 15.9 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 977,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

A sensational, exotic, epic, packed with intrigue and secrets; this is commercial historical fiction at its best.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Linda Holeman is the author of six books for young adults and two collections of short stories for adults, all of which have won numerous awards in the US and her native Canada. Her three novels have been critically acclaimed. She has three children and lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful adventure through Morocco 1 Mar 2010
The Saffron Gate is the first novel i've read by Linda Holeman & it was utterly fantastic! Following the story of Sidonie O'Shea, who crippled at 16 from Polio falls in love with Etienne, the doctor who helped her recover from a terrible accident. Etienne mysteriously disappears from Albany, New York leaving only a letter behind for Sidonie to find. Going against everything she believes, Sidonie braves herself for the unknown and heads off to Morocco to find Etienne. What follows then is a wonderful insight into life in Morocco in the 1930s and the Arab world. Truly captivating and engaging, i couldnt bare to put this down! A must read!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good book 22 Mar 2010
This is an excellent book. Well written, well structured and a good story. It was a pleasure to read. One that I really did not want to put down and I can not say that abount many new books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Romantic and light 17 April 2011
The first book that I read by Linda Holeman was The Moonlit Cage which so delighted me that I gave copies to other people. I wish that I could say that same about The Saffron Gate.

This story opens in upstate New York in the early part of the twentieth century. Sidonie O Shea's life became narrowed when she became crippled by polio as a young girl, separating her from her friends and the more regular ambitions of girls of that era. She adapts, with interests in drawing, gardening and the natural world, all crutches to keep the loneliness at bay. Then Etienne appears, and wriggles his way into her seclusion - disrupting the fragile balance that Sidonie has created for herself. When Etienne disappears, leaving no word of where he has gone, Sidonie's world has been so shattered that it seems that she has no choice but to follow him... to Morocco.

This is a long book and sadly, I found that I wasn't really enjoying it. Whilst the early part of the book felt reasonably real to me - Sidonie's isolation was well drawn, the time spent in Morocco didn't really pull me in. I couldn't feel the heat or the dust and I began to feel very irritated by Sidonie. That LH has done her research is clear - some excellent descriptions of the 1930s French quarter in Marrakech - but the overall story just didn't work for me.

However, if you enjoy a good romantic story (which this is) with an interesting backdrop, I feel sure that you will enjoy this book - so please don't let any criticism of mine put you off.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect holiday read!! 20 May 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sidonie O'Shea from upstate New York has led a very sheltered life, overshadowed by ill health and tragedy. A naive young woman, who finds love with Etienne Duverger, her doctor, only to be deserted by him in mysterious circumstances. She finds a letter which leads her to believe that he has gone to Marrakesh and so she sets out to find him.

It is a love story on a grand scale, sweeping us along, and absolutely unputdownable. The word pictures Linda Holeman paints of Morocco with all it's colour, sounds and smells is intoxicating. I have read and enjoyed all of Linda Holeman's books and this one does not disappoint. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing journey through 1930s Morocco 6 Nov 2010
Linda Holeman writes the kind of historical fiction I love, with just the right combination of romance, history and adventure. One of the things I like about her books is the way she chooses such interesting settings (19th century Afghanistan in The Moonlit Cage, for example, or British-ruled India in In a Far Country). The Saffron Gate is set in 1930s Morocco, a time and place I know very little about, but Holeman really makes the setting come alive, from the noise and bustle of the souks in Marrakesh, the taste of hot couscous and mint tea, the vibrant colours of the trees and flowers.

But Morocco in the 1930s can be a dangerous place for a woman on her own, as our narrator soon discovers. Her name is Sidonie O'Shea and she's travelling to North Africa from her home in Albany, New York in search of her fiancé Etienne Duverger, who disappeared without word, leaving behind a mysterious letter from his sister in Marrakesh. When Sidonie arrives in Morocco she realises the enormity of her task - she has no idea where to start looking for Etienne and it seems that certain people are determined to stop her from finding him at all costs. As Sidonie continues to search, she begins to fall in love with Morocco and at the same time uncovers some important truths about both Etienne and herself.

I learned a lot from this book about the role of women in 1930s Morocco, how they lived, and how they were scorned and looked down upon if they didn't have a husband. There was also a lot of information about their fashions, customs, superstitions - and some fascinating details, such as the rituals of the hammam (public baths).

I've enjoyed all of the Linda Holeman books that I've read, but I think this one has been my favourite so far. I would highly recommend The Saffron Gate to anyone who likes to read long historical fiction novels that allow you to immerse yourself in another culture for a while.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moroccan adventure! 19 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I cannot believe I had never discovered this author before-being an avid reader of all things in the historical/romance/adventure genre. This novel, billed as a sweeping 'Thornbirds' type of saga does not disappoint. Written totally in the firt person we are swept along in the life of Sidonie as she finds trust in Etienne and is devastated when he disappears. The story flips between Sidonie's present, and recent past, which explains why she is making the unbelievable journey to Marrakesh. The descriptions of 1930s Morocco are spellbinding, totally immersing you in its' colourful culture. Chapters finish with unputdownable questions and moments-you are taken on a breathtaking adventure as Sidonie uncovers magic, mystery and secrets. Her realisation that her voyage has been one of self-discovery as much as searching for the man she thought she loved is a rewarding part of this superb saga. If you desire a trip to the Arab world along with plenty of romance and adventure this is definitely for you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. Excellent description of the Moroccan way of life
I have really enjoyed this book. The descriptive passages are so vivid, even if one has never been to Marrakech.
By the end of this book I wanted to book my holiday there.
Published 5 months ago by Christine C
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Linda Holeman novel
Linda Holeman is, in my opinion, a great story teller who can bring characters to life in an instant. Read more
Published 9 months ago by L. J. Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely
A moving story that transports you to a wonderful place and makes you feel part of the characters lives. A thoroughly enjoyable read!
Published 9 months ago by Melody
5.0 out of 5 stars couldn't put it down
Not my usual read I enjoy thrillers and serious historical books but i loved this, enjoyed the insight into Morocco which I find one of the most fascinating countries. Read more
Published 10 months ago by S. Downer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Saffron Gate
I bought this second hand from Amazon. Linda Holeman enthralls with her knowledge of the countries she writes about and the story is wonderful - one can actually lose oneself in... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Chrissie
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Linda Holeman is a wonderful writer. Her books are fascinating and everything comes to life. She really does her research thoroughly.
Published 12 months ago by Ms. Julia Tobin
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely read
My first book by Linda Holeman. Slow start at first, but after few chapters very enjoyable. Takes you back in time... Lovely book, recommended for rainy cold days.
Published 16 months ago by borievka26
4.0 out of 5 stars Cultural difference
The story was interesting and you could feel the heat and discomfort of the travel but were drawn into the story very easily.
Published 19 months ago by P. Sonnex
5.0 out of 5 stars Book
I havent read this book yet. It was received exactly as described by the seller. Posted very quickly to me and I would buy from the seller again.
Published on 22 Feb 2011 by Woody
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