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Footprints in the Sand

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  339 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
When Emily Kingsley arrives at the church for her eccentric Great Aunt Mary's funeral, she is still grieving for her broken relationship with the vain, mean and unfaithful Ted, and has little sorrow to spare. At the wake afterwards, she is dismayed to learn the content's of Mary's will. Emily and her cousin Clemmie must go to Mali, where they are to travel by camel into th ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published 2006 by Headline Review
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Aug 05, 2012 Misssharice rated it really liked it
I found this book on a bench in Robin Hoods Bay a few weekends ago. It was sat there with a yellow sticker on it, a message to passers by that it was free and part of the Book Crossing phenomenon. I've never seen a Book Crossing item in the wild so it kind of made my day. All in all, a good story that I couldn't put down. The writing didn't completely thrill me but the content of the story did. I wanted to find out more about the mystery at the heart of the plot and while the ending was a little ...more
Bre Teshendorf
Jan 27, 2015 Bre Teshendorf rated it liked it
I fully expected this book to be a piece of quickly rolled out paperback trash. It was not. I was pleasantly surprised!
There were very interesting "learning" moments, about the history of Mali, life in the Sahara, discriptions of tribal wear, and so on. A note at the beginning of the book tells me that the authoress has been to Mali and spent time with the Toureg people, so one can only assume she is writing from a place of knowledge based on her experience, making it all the more fascinating.
Oct 16, 2015 Esther rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Een zoetsappig verhaal over de nichtjes Emily en Clemmie die na het overlijden van hun oudtante naar Mali afreizen om haar de laatste eer te bewijzen. Tante Mary wil dat haar as op een bijzondere plek wordt uitgestrooid. In dit boek volgen we Emily en Clemmie in hun reis. Daarnaast volgen we een vriendin van tante Mary, mw Timmis, die alles weet over het verleden van Mary en de reden waarom haar as in Mali uitgestrooid moet worden.

Het verhaal leest als een trein. Het is vlot geschreven met veel
Dec 31, 2013 Kathy rated it liked it
Enjoyable but the plot was too predictable.
May 30, 2011 Diane rated it it was ok
Not my favourite of Ms Challis' works. Overlong and not as well written as her other novels.
Jeannie Mancini
Feb 09, 2010 Jeannie Mancini rated it really liked it
Camelback Journey To Mali

Clemmie and Emily, to young cousins in England are as different as night and day. While attending their great aunt Mary’s funeral, Aunt Mary’s lawyer informs them that Aunt Mary had a dying wish for them that must be attended to. In Aunt Mary’s will, her last dying wish was to be cremated, and that her remains were to be carried to North Africa, her ashes were to be sprinkled over the sands of Mali in the Sahara desert.

With all family members totally bewildered why Aunt
Apr 12, 2012 Paula rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and liked the characters. Will miss them know that they're gone!

Emily and Clemmie Kingsley are two cousins who grew up in England. The story opens at their Great Aunt Mary's funeral with Emily crying not only over the death of Aunt Mary but also over the demise of her relationship with her boyfriend. When the service is over the girls find the in her will, Aunt Mary has left instruction that the two of them are to take her ashes and scatter them in a remote area of the
Jan 20, 2016 Vermillion rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: No-one.
This book was for sale for a quid in Poundland for a good reason. The idea of a book about two women travelling across Mali to fulfill a dead relative's wishes sounded interesting, but the book did not live up to the blurb on the back cover. The plot was utterly predictable - every 'twist' could be seen a mile off. The characters, almost without exception, were intensely irritating, and didn't seem believable at all, as if it were an older woman writing about how she thought younger women talked ...more
Jill Robertson
Jul 25, 2016 Jill Robertson rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure
'Footprints in the Sand' by Sarah Challis was an adventure story of two 26-year-old girls crossing the plains and deserts of Mali to carry out their great-aunt's dying wish to scatter her ashes in a remote part of northern Mali. While the reader may have to suspend disbelief at times, the evocative language and sheer lyrical exuberance of the words are what earned it 4 stars for me; for example, Challis describes the wretched villages as a 'stew of poverty'. We learn quite a bit about the vast d ...more
Dec 06, 2013 Vicki rated it liked it
The story of two cousins who are entrusted with carrying out the last wishes of their late great-aunt who wants her ashes scattered someplace in the Sahara Dessert that isn't on any map.
The great aunt is named Mary Kingsley but she's not that Mary Kingsley which had me confused a bit.
I thought to compare this to Nina Sovich's To the Moon and Timbuktu which I read last year since they take a similar route into the Sahara but this was so sugar coated it didn't seem the same country. I'm a little d
Sep 28, 2016 Susan rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting read set in Devon and Mali.The author has spent time in Mali with the Toureg people and that knowledge comes through as well as her love of both the country of Mali and these desert people.

The descriptions of the people and the scenery as well as the camel trip were great and I felt with them all the way along the trip.

The characters were okay, maybe a bit stereotypical but still it was an enjoyable read with two young girls making a journey to scatter their great aun
Oct 17, 2010 Caroline rated it liked it
a delightful jaunt through Mali. Emily Kingsley and her cousin, Clemmie, are given the task of taking their Great Aunt Mary's ashes to Mali, to be scattered in a particular part of the dessert that's inhabited only by the nomadic tribes of the Tuareg. Why Mali of all places? When did Great Aunt Mary ever go to Africa? She'd never given anyone any hint that she'd been outside England in her life. Why does Emily think her companion, Ms Timmis, knows something but is holding back from them? Emily d ...more
Debbie Robson
Nov 24, 2010 Debbie Robson rated it really liked it
Well, I must admit I got bogged down in the desert reading this. Just too much 'travel writing' rather than characterisation. I also didn't believe Emily's thoughts on her ex. They seemed all out of proportion to what we, as the reader, saw. I mean she seemed to be well rid of him. Apart from that I believe Challis handled Beryl's thoughts better than the two girls and there was a little detail revealed at the end which was so plausible, I wish I'd thought it up. Can't say more though - you'll j ...more
Oct 01, 2014 Catrinamaria rated it really liked it
Book recommendations come from the most unexpected places! My 95 year old cousin must be one of the audio library's most devoted customers in her county and so I discovered Sarah Challis and "Footprints in the Sand". This year has been dominated by my MA book list and I haven't settled terribly well into novels until this one. Three perspectives on a trip to Mali with decades separating Beryl's voyage from the 21st century journey made by Clemmie and Emily. A very easy romantic read with beautif ...more
Mar 10, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing
I see that this author has been praised elsewhere for her "elegaic" writing in relation to the English countryside, but I must say she does pretty well describing the Sahara desert as well. I really enjoyed this book, for its spirit of adventure, the romance and that special desert magic. All this, however, is nicely balanced with the practical nature of one of the heroines, so it does get too carried away with itself. I will be seeking out other books by this author, definately.
Jess The Bookworm
Aug 07, 2015 Jess The Bookworm rated it liked it
Cousins, Emily and Clemmie, get left a task in their great-aunt's will: to go to Mali, find some obscure tribe and scatter her ashes.

It was a fun story, and the account of Mali was very interesting.

I think I may have enjoyed it more if I was more of a Clemmie and less of an Emily. The thought of what Clemmie does at the end leaves me highly stressed, but that's just me!

A nice escape from ordinary life into the desert.
Feb 22, 2014 Beth rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It felt like going on a great adventure. Although I wasn't thrilled with the ending but I certainly enjoyed getting there.
I love a book that just tells a story. That may sound silly but I've come across books where it is obvious the author is trying so hard to impress, or be quirky or be different, etc that is wonderful to come across a book that, when reading, feels like a good friend telling a really good story. That's what reading this book felt like.
Paula Dembeck
Jun 11, 2013 Paula Dembeck rated it liked it
After the funeral for their great Aunt Mary, Emily Kingsley and her cousin Clemmie learn about the contents of her will. Aunt Mary asks them to go to Mali where they are to travel by camel into the Sahara desert to scatter her ashes. Clemmie, thrilled about the adventure is keen to go, while Emily agrees with great reluctance. Once they enter the Sahara, they begin to unearth Aunt Mary’s sixty year old secret.
A good read.
Helensvale Library
Oct 17, 2013 Helensvale Library rated it really liked it
Shelves: kate
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The book was so descriptive, I actually felt like I was travelling with Clemmie and Emily whilst they were going through the desert.
We were travelling whilst I was reading this and it just about killed me, but I had to leave the book behind without knowing how it had ended. Thankfully I was able to get it once I got home :-)

Jan 30, 2013 Moikoiblack rated it it was amazing
this is one of the best books i've ever read.
it gives me a new insight of how living in a place far from modern civilization can be so beautiful.
the way of how sarah challis narrated the story made me as if i was in the desert myself.
if you want to learn how to live a new life, read this book for it has a great valuable lessons....
Mar 12, 2009 Laine added it
Sarah Challis has such a warm style of writing in this book. To finish a journey started by ones grandmother by a young girl and her cousin is such an adventure and should be read by young girls everywhere.
Christina Rochester
Jan 07, 2015 Christina Rochester rated it really liked it
I wish I could give this four and a half stars. Aunt Mary's secret was extremely obvious, the reason why I rated this book lower, but I completely fell in love with Emily and Clemmie's travels. This was a beautiful piece of fiction.
Jan 16, 2009 Anne rated it really liked it
At first I wasn't too keen to read a book set in Africa (personal reasons only) but it has restored good feelings about the place. Reading about the Tuareg tribe was fascinating and now I feel I want to read more about them and see photos in something like National Geographic.
Sep 29, 2010 Penny rated it really liked it
Two cousins travel to Mali to fulfill the wishes of their deceased relative. Fascinating details about the desert, and desert people, the Tuareg. The story is told by three main characters, each representing a very different viewpoint.
May 20, 2012 Cazz rated it really liked it
Shelves: world
Couldn't put this down, interesting and lovely story
Feb 20, 2013 Janine rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Easy to read and enjoyable to read a bit about Mali
Dec 26, 2016 Jack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-possession
Ein Buch das mich wirklich verzaubert hat. Ich hatte regelrecht fernweh.
Jess Van Dyne-Evans
Oct 07, 2008 Jess Van Dyne-Evans rated it really liked it
A possibly senile great aunt, a great journey - what are two farm girls to do?

A wonderful book to get lost in.
Jan 29, 2011 Jo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Easy read, good desciption of desert etc. Enjoyed it.
Oct 13, 2012 Jakoba rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Ik had meer verwacht van dit verhaal... Het is wel mooi maar ergens ook voorspelbaar.
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Sarah Challis, whose father is the distinguished cinematographer, Christopher Challis, travelled widely with film units as a child. She has since lived in Scotland and California but is now happily settled in a Dorset village with three rescued dogs and three chickens. She is married with four sons.
More about Sarah Challis...

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