Read Whispers in the Sand by Barbara Erskine Online


Past and present collide in richly mysterious Egypt, where recently divorced Anna Coburn is retracing a journey her great grandmother Louisa made in the 19th century. Cruising down the Nile from Luxor to the Valley of the Kings, Anna carries with her two mementos: an ancient Egyptian scent bottle, and the diary of that original Nile voyage, which has lain unread for a hundPast and present collide in richly mysterious Egypt, where recently divorced Anna Coburn is retracing a journey her great grandmother Louisa made in the 19th century. Cruising down the Nile from Luxor to the Valley of the Kings, Anna carries with her two mementos: an ancient Egyptian scent bottle, and the diary of that original Nile voyage, which has lain unread for a hundred years. As she follows Louisa's footsteps, Anna discovers both the chilling secret of the bottle and the terrifying specters that pursued her great grandmother....

Title : Whispers in the Sand
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781402261756
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 496 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Whispers in the Sand Reviews

  • Cphe
    2019-05-01 16:38

    Normally enjoy this author but the delivery for this paranormal themed novel set in Egypt was a bit too uneven. I loved the setting and the premise of the novel. Thoroughly enjoyed the descriptions of Egypt and felt the timelessness of the country, the history. I thought that was extremely well presented. However the ending was quite abrupt without any real resolution, or adequate explanation. It was the relationship between Louisa and Hassan, and the setting of Egypt that kept me reading. Not the best work by the author.

  • Kathleen Kelly
    2019-04-21 16:44

    Whispers in the Sand by Barbara Erskine was first released in 2000 to rave reviews. When I saw that Sourcebooks was offering a review copy, I was so excited. Why?? Barbara Erskine is my favorite author and has been since I read Lady of Hay. In fact, I remember that I had to order the book online with my first computer. I had to order it from the UK and when I did receive it I was thrilled. It took me a few years to read it...not because it was a bad book but because I wanted to savor it and didn't want it to end. I think I even took it along on my first trip to Ireland. Finish it I did and I think it was also one of my first reviews on my blog. I am not a reader who will reread a book but Barbara's books I definitely will.That said, chapter one opens with this paragraph: " May there be nothing to resist me at my judgement; may there be no opposition to me; may there be no parting of thee from me in the presence of him that keepeth the scales." " It is thirteen hundred years before the birth of Christ".....The chapters of the story are told in alternating voices; Anna Fox, as she is on her cruise in Egypt as a vacation away from the stress of her life, of Louisa, Anna's great-grandmother who took a similar cruise in the Victorian era and lastly the ghosts of the dead priests. All these stories combine to tell a powerful spooky story of love, hate, evil, curse's on ancient relics and secrets of a diary. The way that the author told the story had me immersed from the first page and I could not wait to pick it up again, even staying up late to finish it. The research is impeccable and the writing is easy to read, I felt like I was right there with Anna as she discovers more of her great-grandmother's story. I give this book 5 stars and I highly recommend it for fans of historical fiction and specifically the Egyptian era. You will not be disappointed!

  • Misfit
    2019-05-01 08:41

    Anna Fox needs a break from London and the ex-husband, and decides to journey to Egypt and retrace the trip along the Nile taken by her great-great-grandmother Louisa . On a whim, she also decides to bring along an ancient scent bottle Louisa had brought back with her - and there's a big mystery surrounding the bottle as it seems to take on a life of its own. Anna has a single cabin on board ship, but *people* sure do seem to come and go as well as things going bump in the night - is someone on board ship hot to get their hands on the scent bottle and Louisa's diary? Who is leaving fragments of incense behind? Are these people real, or a ghostly presence?Anna reads Louisa's diary in bits and pieces and through her we *see* her story. Louisa was a widow and a painter and whilst touring Egypt and fell in love with her guide Hassan. Hassan was the one who gave her the scent bottle, not knowing its *haunted past*, but there soon comes onto the scene the evil Lord Carstairs who dabbles in black magic and is very very determined to get his hands on the bottle no matter what the costs.And that's as far as I'm going, if you want to know the rest you'll just have to read it for yourself. This started off fairly well, and I liked the mystery, but things went a bit downhill about halfway through with too many plots and sub-plots, as well as an over abundance of secondary characters. Erskine fans will recognize her standard tropes of the dumped-by-her-cheatin'-husband-heroine-who-spends-the-rest-of-her-life-as-a-doormat-for-other-people, along with the standard duo of men (one good and kind, one a jerk) interested in said heroine with plenty of spooks and things that go bump in the night - hey this one even has a magic snake!A quick easy read when one is in the mood for a bit of brain candy, and the Egyptian setting was the very best part. Not her best, but Erskine's fans should enjoy this well enough.

  • Chelsea
    2019-05-12 09:30

    I'm a little disappointed in this novel, and I really hoped I wouldn't be because I can't afford a weekend away let alone a two week cruise down the Nile so I planned on living vicariously through it. Unfortunately I just found myself becoming increasingly irritated by it so I'm sharing my thoughts before I even finish it. #1. If you've never read a book with English grammar it might trip you up a bit. At first I thought there were just an obscene number of typo's.#2. I just couldn't remain excited about it after the same thing kept happening over and over and over. Heroine sees ghost; creepy men try to coax her into giving them her personal property; repeat twenty times. #3. The setting is Egypt for crying out loud - I don't care how many ghosts are on board - this chick shivers every other page. Would it have been difficult to come up with ANY other reaction to paranormal activity?!#4. The author uses the word, "surreptitiously" pretty frequently which I just found odd because it's not a common word you hear in everyday conversation or even read that much. There's nothing wrong with that, I just happened to notice...#5. I really would have liked a map in addition to or instead of the cruise schedule. Googling pictures of the places they explored was very helpful for my imagination and kept me somewhat interested after I started to get bored with it. #6. I did like the way she wove the two stories. Often when a novel is told from different points of view or focuses on characters separately it's in a choppy manner, but Erskine pulled it off very smoothly. Really, about half of this book could have been removed and the story wouldn't have changed at all. I'm still on the look out for an exotic setting to vacation to in my mind...

  • Sarah Rood
    2019-05-15 08:47

    This story started out with the hope of a beautiful enriching adventurous tale! It had twists ... But the same ones over and over ... The repetition was obnoxious, but the compulsion in me to finish made me press on to the end! I had no reprieve and it led to another unending cycle and no clear or even decent open ended conclusion! It was as if the author was lazy and decided to end it abruptly! The only explanation was the authors after note which gave a pathetic excuse that it could be compared to the "mysteries of life". It was lazy editing and malarkey! No way the publishers should have let the author get away with it! Blah to wasted adventure! I had higher hopes!

  • Susan
    2019-05-07 15:35

    At best, I found this book uneven. Thought the parts read from the Victorian diary very interesting, but the contemporary narrative, not so much. Aside from the fact that most the characters acted like they were still in high school, I found the 'cursed perfume bottle' storyline a bit absurd, along with the 'magic snake'. And really, just what was all the fuss with the 2 ancient priests feuding over it anyway? It seemed much ado about nothing.However, I loved the Egyptian setting and the author described the sights and the Victorian lifestyle wonderfully. Only because of this did I get it a higher rating than I would have solely based on the plot.

  • Pam
    2019-04-27 14:24

    A tiny bottle with an ancient Egyptian curse. A modern-day story with a yet-to-read diary belonging to a great-great grandmother. Flashbacks. And a forbidden love story. All of that sounded good and entertaining, but...There were several characters that were just annoying. Really annoying. And there was too much repetition, and no resolution. For example, main character sees haunting apparition. She trembles and screams. Nothing happens to resolve. Next chapter...repeat. As a matter of fact, even the ending had no resolution. I was disappointed.

  • Sarah Mac
    2019-04-26 08:50

    Typical timeslip snooze that annoyed me like a runny nose in allergy season. Tepid, cardboard characters (how many attractive young divorcees can one genre hold?) blended with a lame Scooby Doo mystery & sprinkled with obnoxiously obvious infodumps = yawn. (N.B.: Hope Lady of Hay is better. At least that one promises some entertainment, what with the '80s ripper echoes sending so many reviewers into a tailspin o' disgust.)

  • Asghar Abbas
    2019-04-29 14:41

    Jeez, this was horrible Really terrible writing Bad bookRead it in January of 2006 It stayed with me It was so bad I still cringe when I think about the cardboard characters with no real life motivations General rule of thumb , if the cover is gorgeous Avoid it The Contents Matter Disney Needs To StopMaking New Star Wars movies Every year .

  • Lisa
    2019-05-16 15:36

    This is the first book by Barbara Erskine that I have read (although I do own several others) and on paper it sounded like the sort of thing I would really enjoy. Having finished it, I can say that I quite liked it but I certainly didn't love it. I thought the descriptions of Egypt were fantastic, really rich and evocative, and I liked how Ancient Egyptian mythology and religion was woven into the story. The central mystery was also quite intriguing. However, there were a couple of areas where this book stumbled for me, the main one being the characterisation. There are two interlinking timelines in this book, the 1860s and the modern day. I really enjoyed the former, I thought the characters were well developed and I was eager to know what was going to happen to them. It's a pity the same cannot be said of those in the modern day storyline. None of them ever felt fully fleshed out to me, particularly the heroine, and one of the supporting characters was so irritating that it became a real distraction and sucked quite a bit of enjoyment out of the book. I don't normally experience such high levels of irritation with characters in books, even if I really do not like them, but this character pushed me to my limit on several occasions. The other area that I felt let this book down was the ending. Or rather the lack of one. In her afterword, the author said she decided to leave things open so that the reader could make up their own mind about what the future held. There are occasions when I think that approach works well. This was not one of them in my opinion. There were too many questions left unanswered and it just didn't work for me. Overall, this was a pleasant enough book to spend a few hours with but it won't be going on my favourites shelf anytime soon.

  • Sheila
    2019-04-28 12:36

    I was disappointed in this book. I really liked Lady of Hay by the same author, and I usually love books that connect modern times with the past, but this one was just dull and annoying.* There was sexism in Lady of Hay, but I dismissed it as part of the era (both the book's setting and the time the book was written). But it's prevalent in this much later book too. The female characters are patronized and downright bullied by the males. The protagonist has no agency and spends her time wringing her hands and being inactive. There's a touch of exoticification of Egypt too; one Egyptian man is always described by his "big brown hands," and so on. A bit squicky.* Nothing much happens, and what does happen is repetitive: The protagonist sees a shadow, gets scared, and panics. Men steal things from her, for which she forgives them and does nothing about. She reads a page of the diary, which could help her, but never the whole thing. Repeat.* The book just stops with no resolution.

  • Ana
    2019-05-03 08:40

    I think this is my favourite Barbara Erskine book so far :) still dreaming if going to Egypt one day.

  • Mandy
    2019-05-11 08:30

    This was an interesting read. I found myself googling the sites to enable me to picture them properly. I liked how the two lives entwined. Looking forward to reading more of this author.

  • Susan
    2019-05-18 13:41

    This was the first Barbara Erskine novel I read and I LOVED it. It was my first delve into paranormal and I had a great time playing catch-up with Erskine's other titles.

  • Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
    2019-05-02 13:28

    I think this has been the worst book of this year for me. I wonder how much of that attributes to a bad Lithuanian translation.. But still. Guys, read something else.

  • Maggie
    2019-05-13 14:45

    Kept the suspense throughout the book. Not great literary writing but entertaining enough for reading at work lunch and on the bus. BUT the ending is so abrupt, quite frustrating. NOTE: read "sands of time" straight after this as it contains two lengthy short stories following on from this book.

  • Lisa Feustel
    2019-05-16 10:32

    Enjoyed the plot along with the storyline going back and forth between past and present. Did not think characters were fully developed (gave impression of being immature), plus did note some choppy action throughout novel, especially during fast-paced parts.

  • Tilly
    2019-04-25 09:26

    Nicely set in historic Egypt. However, by the second half of the book the natural setting is gone, the Egyptian reach hysterical is overshadowed by a story that seems to go round and round. The characters are disappointingly superficial too.

  • Carrie Hetherington
    2019-05-03 09:23

    Barbara Erskine is my favourite author, I have all her books and would highly recommend each and every one. You won't be able to put them down! There are characters from the past and present intertwined in a single story, grounded in historical fiction and they're always full of ghosts. Gripping.

  • Milie2112
    2019-05-18 08:46

    bit dumb.

  • Amanda Alice
    2019-04-25 11:23

    I enjoyed this book but I admit I struggled to hang on towards the end. Oh, and I'm being kind when I say I wanted to sail away on the dahabeejah, leaving certain characters behind never to be seen again.

  • Aina
    2019-04-20 16:40

    Not my cup of tea... The chapters with weird ramblings.

  • Becky
    2019-05-02 13:52

    pretty learning about Egypt....past and present

  • Vicky
    2019-05-16 14:53

    Enjoyed the story but the writing style was what kept me engaged and wanting to know what happened next. A sign of a good book in my opinion.

  • Sridhar Babu
    2019-04-20 08:44

    Author.. Barbara Erskine..Characters.. Anna Fox, Louisa, Hassan, John Forrester, Roger Carstairs, Andy, Toby, Serena, Charley, Omer, Anhotep and Hatsek (priests ) and of course haunted Scent bottle..Location : England and Egypt..Plot.. Anna Fox recently divorced decides to cheer herself by going on vacation to Egypt. Egypt was Anna's long time fascination. Before going there, Anna receives a dairy written by her great great grandmother Louisa on her trip to Egypt in the mid nineteenth century, and also a scent bottle received by her as a gift from Hassan a native Egyptian.Anna receives two of Louisa's possessions as a memento from her father's remaining Aunt Phyllis Shelly and carries with her to Egypt. Anna follows Louisa's footsteps in Egypt, visits all the ancient cities visited earlier by Louisa, such as Luxor, Kom Ombo,Aswan , Philae, and Abu Simbel in a cruise with her English friends. Anna reads Louisa's dairy during her journey and learns the scent bottle brought with her is actually a life saving potion, from the ancient Egyptian period three thousand years back, before the birth of Jesus Christ given to Louisa as a gift from the local man Hassan as a symbol of love happened between them in Egypt. Anna also learns that the ancient bottle is guarded by the spirits of two rival priests claiming the right over the bottle from centuries back. Anna also discovers wonderful love story between Louisa and Hassan happened long back. Meanwhile two men from the tour party (Andy and Toby)are developing an unfriendly rivalry for her attention and also for the mementos of Louisa. Like Louisa, Anna also wants to get rid of the bottle in Egypt because of the horrifying incidents happening to her in Egypt. She is haunted and followed by the priests wherever She goes. She is helped by her friends Serena and Toby in getting rid of the bottle. What happened to her? Was she able to get rid of the bottle and her nightmares? Did the priests rested in peace? forms the rest of the story...My comment... There is no such thing called climax in this story. One can travel to ancient cities of Egypt with the author's beautiful narration of the historical and mythical importance of ancient cities in Egypt. So in short logic only magic... !!!

  • Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews
    2019-04-25 12:34

    originally posted at http://longandshortreviews.blogspot.c...Anna Fox is recently divorced and free from her controlling husband, but she doesn’t know what to do with herself. Her aunt suggests she retrace a Nile cruise her great-grandmother had taken years before. She says yes, but doesn’t realize just what awaits her in Egypt… Ms. Erskine writes a very solid novel. Every word she uses is there for a purpose and she weaves pictures of Egypt and its scenery, imbues you with a sense of danger, and makes you wonder if anyone is safe on this journey. Her plot is well thought out with lots of nooks and crannies for secrets to hide in. And she uses the diary from the past for good effect in this cruise in the contemporary time period. If you are at all familiar with Egyptian myths, they have gods they honor. Not all of them are nice gods, either. The gods are at work in this story also. When Anna gets on the plane to go to Egypt, she meets her first odd character. He’s not the least bit friendly or even socialable sitting next to her. But he has interest in her great grandmother’s diary… The author starts Anna out as a shy type after years of her husband controlling her and telling her what was appropriate for her life as his wife. As the cruise continues, she runs into other men of this type, but she starts to come out of her shell and lets them know she won’t be treated that way. By the end of the story, after fighting gods and attempting to keep her artifacts from being stolen, Anna is returning to a woman with full confidence that can make her own decisions. The transition is fun to read about. All the characters in the “diary” and in the current day are believable and strong. The gods follow the traditional legends and are just as nasty as they were in those stories. It’s full bodied story with lots of twists and turns that holds your attention until the last page. I especially enjoyed the Egyptian lore and the visit to the country. Why not get yourself a copy of this book and go on a Nile cruise, too?

  • Karen Fowler
    2019-05-11 15:43

    My daughter calls me a “word nerd” often, and unlike other choice things she has to say about me, with this I am not offended. I freely admit I’m addicted to books. It’s an addiction, like many others that can lead to financial ruin if left unchecked. Which is why I adore signing up to win free books on sites like LibraryThing and GoodReads. I’ve kept food on the table by feeding my addiction with many won books. This book, Whispers In The Sand is one of them.As an American, I had a little trouble getting into the book, since it’s written from the viewpoint of an English woman. But looking at that gorgeous cover I just couldn’t give up. And I’m glad I hung in there, for the book totally sucked me in. I completely missed my kids bedtime, so oblivious was I. Thank goodness my husband was on the ball. But I digress.Cloaked within a modern mystery is an ancient one, and the two story lines are melded expertly and with finesse. Erskine ramped up the tension steadily until I just had to know what happened next – with both the present line and the historical one. Ancient Egypt, cursed relics, rampant madness and evil-afoot. How could I not have loved it?Now on to my few, minor nitpicks… Several times a few of the characters irritated me and I found myself wondering if someone would really respond to such obnoxious behavior with meek and proper manners. But then I remembered I’m American and social graces are not the same here as they are “across the pond” in many ways.Also, I’m a little chaffed at the ending. I can still feel myself dangling just a little and I hate that. Perhaps there will be a sequel? One can hope.Overall, Whispers In The Sand is potent, mystical, in some ways tragic and has a healthy dose of suspense and mystery. Erskine is a lyrical writer who is able to imbue genre fiction with literary flavor. I’d recommend the book whole-heartedly despite my minor complaints.

  • Bookguide
    2019-04-29 08:39

    Esoteric mysteries and all-too human tensions combine to make this a real page-turner. Too many people on this Egyptian cruise seem to be overwrought. Charley thinks Anna wants to steal her boyfriend. Andy and Toby seem to be picking fights with each other and throwing accusations at each other on a daily basis. Charley, Andy and Serena all know each other and have entrenched opinions they are all too willing to confide in Anna. Everybody seems to want Anna to share her great grandmother Louisa's diary of her Egyptian travels, and mystical events seem to be unfolding around Anna and the tiny beautiful Egyptian bottle she has inherited. As they travel further into Egypt, past events seem to be repeating themselves and the ghosts of ancient Egypt seem to be coming back to life. Or perhaps everybody's imaginations are running away with them under the influence of too much good food, searing heat and visits to atmospheric Egyptian temples, hearing the tales of gods, priests and spirits?All combine to make a wonderful story told in an undemanding style. The story moves between short sections telling the ancient story of the bottle, the story told in the Victorian diary and the story of Anna's cruise. The sections are clearly defined by the type used and small pictures of a death mask, a Victorian gentleman and a man's face, perhaps from a tourist guide, all spookily similar. There was never any doubt whose story was being told. The only thing that was rather odd was the fact that Louisa's Victorian story was told as a 3rd person narrative instead of framing it as a diary, even though Anna was supposed to be reading from the diary itself. The illustrations on the endpapers are also beautiful, illustrating the map of Egypt and the tourist sites. Definitely a good holiday read, but preferably not while you're in Egypt!

  • Maggie Curry
    2019-04-25 10:47

    A wonderfully enthralling read, this book was my first introduction to Barbara Erskine. Hefty, but with a marvelous spectral aura to it, this novel was impossible to put down. Full of vivid depictions of Egypt, Erskine's writing made me add it to my Travel Wish List! The only disappointment was the anticlimactic ending. Favourite Quotes:"Life, Anna, is to be experienced. Lived," she said, slowly licking jam off her fingers. "It may not turn out the way we planned or hoped. It may not be totally enjoyable all the time, but it should be always exciting.""She had always done this, even as a child; felt the need to block out distractions, even when they were interesting and informative, so that she could concentrate on the atmosphere. Facts could come later. It was the feel of a place that brought it alive.""It is perhaps childlike and naïve, to quote your own words, to expect the answer always to be yes. But if you pray for something, which is right for you, then your prayers will be answered with a yes.""But why should one be better than another? One be better than several? In my view, each god is the manifestation of the one god in an appropriate form to fit his age.""If heartbreak must come, let it come later. Then there are the days of happiness to remember. Otherwise there is nothing but regret.""Just because most people can't see or understand it doesn't mean it's not there. And one can't make it go away by saying it doesn't exist. Not in the end.""The trick is to ignore the materialists in our world and go with our gut feelings and our intuition. And those of us who have the courage of our convictions because we have that intuition or because we have seen something with our eyes must for the time being risk ridicule and carry the rest."" awful lot of people can see something every day of their lives and not look at it."

  • Patty
    2019-04-30 11:38

    This is my first book by Barbara Erskine but if given the chance to read another I will certainly do so. I found myself thoroughly loving (most of) the characters and certainly the locale of this book. I have a fascination for books that take place in Egypt; so mysterious, so old. In this tale Anna Fox is recently divorced and is feeling totally diminished by an ex-husband who used her as nothing more than a social secretary. Encouraged by her aunt she takes off to Egypt to follow in the footsteps of her somewhat famous great-great grandmother, Louisa Shelley, a water-colorist. Louisa has left a diary of her experiences and a mysterious scent bottle.The story is told in three parts; Anna's current day adventures, Louisa's Victorian tales and the mystery of two Ptolemaic priests who are looking to reclaim the scent bottle and it's "Tears of Isis." The three stories are seamlessly bound together as Anna starts seeing the sames visions of the priests that Louisa did. As Anna reads Louisa's diary and becomes more involved in Louisa's life she becomes more afraid of the ghosts of the priests. In her current world her new acquaintances on the cruise ship in Egypt including two men who both want different things from her - including Louisa's diary - try to woo her for their own purposes. Just who can Anna trust?This was a fascinating book with a good story at its core. I enjoyed Anna's present and Louisa's past. Anna's relationship with Toby (one of the two men) was fun and well developed. The other man, Andy was not as well developed and he seemed a bit one note but it didn't detract much from the overall book. I found myself turning the pages wanting to know what would happen to Anna and what did happen to Louisa.