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Whispers in the Sand

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  1,675 ratings  ·  125 reviews
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 hund ...more
Published (first published 1995)
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Community Reviews

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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 ...more
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
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, eve ...more
Kathleen Kelly

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
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 exci
Sarah Rood
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 compare ...more
Sridhar Babu

Barbara Erskine..
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..


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, a
While there were parts of this book I enjoyed, overall I felt like much of it was unrealistic or poorly written. The story weaves real life with other worldly beings - Egyptian priests, gods, and goddesses - and I enjoyed this part, it was fun to get wrapped up in a story that wasn't so serious or heavy. The chapters which focused on the main characters Great-great-grandmother were well written and very enjoyable, unfortunately some of the characters were so poorly written they felt completely u ...more
Anna has just got a divorce and is taking a Nile Cruise, mirroring one her great-grandmother Louisa took in the mid 1800s. She has Louisa's diary and a small glass bottle that has been passed down to her. The diary tells the story of the bottls and of Louisa's journey which includes a forbidden lover and threatening ghosts and a threat from a man who can raise spirits, the ghostly and sometimes deadly kind. Anna has two men who both seem to have hidden agendas, both of whom are overly interested ...more
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.
Ali Mandala
A long but quick read. I read it in a day because I love the scenes of Egypt and the mystery. I loved the details that the author focused on as well as the use of mysticism. My only qualm was really the main characters willingness to believe what everyone was saying, even after certain of them proved themselves to be telling falsehoods... Her naivete at times was quite frustrating.. But for the most part I liked the main character and her dynamics with the other characters and I was absolutely c ...more
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' ...more
Karen Fowler
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 troub
Linda Banche
WHISPERS IN THE SAND by Barbara Erskine is a masterful interweaving of three connected stories of ancient evil surviving through the ages to surface again in the present.

After divorcing her rat of a husband after fourteen years of patronizing, faithless marriage, Anna travels to Egypt for a trip down the Nile to follow in the footsteps of her great-great-grandmother, Victorian artist Louisa, as described in Louisa's sketchbook. Anna also brings along Louisa's old Egyptian scent bottle, which exp
Heather Pearson
Recently divorced, Anna Fox needs a change in her life. Once her dear Aunt Phyllis suggests she visit Egypt, Anna can't get that location out of her mind. In the mid nineteenth century her great grandmother Louisa visited Egypt and created a wealth of painting of the sites she visited. She also left a travel diary, which Phyllis bestowed to her. Hidden in the depths of both women's stories are those of the ancient priests Anhotep and Hatsek. Both died a violent death at the hands of the other, y ...more
Oct 11, 2013 Clare rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in Egypt.
I decided to risk this even though I hadn't liked "Time's Legacy" and I am glad I did. The setting was wonderfully described, and the little paragraphs at the beginning of each chapter added an air of mystery, magic and menace. The characters were interesting although it was obvious fairly early on which of them was the one to worry about. However it was not the living that posed the problem here. Of far more concern were the ghosts of ancient egypt and the events of Louisa's visit. I was very c ...more
This was my first novel by Barbara Erskine and had I not read reviews of this novel which describe it as "not one of her best" I would probably not read another. Plenty of other reviewers have given a run down of the plot, so I'll just tell you what I thought. The heroine, Anna, was annoying and needed to stick up for herself, and the two men who vie for her attentions are pretty annoying too. The sights and sounds of Egypt are evocative and descriptive, but relationships and behaviour of the pe ...more
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 footste ...more
This follows Anna Fox as she travels in Egypt, recreating the journey her great grandmother, Louisa, once did. Accompanied by Louisa's journal, Anna starts to discover that there was more to her relative's trip than has been passed down through the family. The journal, and an antique scent bottle, attract the unwanted attention of two men aboard the boat, one a antique dealer, the other with more obscure motives. But it is the more supernatural elements that start to impact on Anna's enjoyment. ...more
Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews
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, an
Brayden Emerick

I was intrigued by the summary of the book, but was highly disappointed in the writing. As I am a commitment-fiend I decided to continue the book because the plot line was interesting. Several questions are left for the reader as the writer does not tie up many loose ends. For example, why was Andy after the diary and bottle so much? Was it really money? And she leaves it as a cliff hanger with a note at the end of the book pretty much saying, "Well, that's life!" In my opinion, she did not kn
Jul 27, 2011 Staci rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Staci by: Sourcebooks
Shelves: 2011-reads
First thought after finishing this book: "I so need to visit Egypt!!!"

My Thoughts: This was my first experience reading Barbara Erskine and it won't be my last. I really liked the way she wrote the story using a diary of Anna's great-grandmother as the focal point and in which she was able to link the past with the present. I know that some people do get tired of "the diary" being used in books but for me it never seems to grow old. I honestly felt like I would recognize these people and places
I overall liked the book. It wasn't as good as erskine's other books. The main character anna was not realistic, really annoying most of the times. One example is when she has an old valuable diary stolen on the cruise she is on.she decides not to to report it to the police or tell any crew members etc because she doesn't wanna make a 'fuss'!! Though the diary is written by her grandmother and its valuable and there are quite a few suspects on the boat...And it happens again ... Really spoilt it ...more
Dear god this is the second book in a row I have read that has a great build up to fall short at the end. Two thirds of the book was marvellous, drawing you in and feeling the intensity, only for the final third to make you feel like you were ploughing your feet through mud only to be told at the end of this immense effort to guess the outcome! What? So left very disappointed, it was beautifully written but then it was if the author didn't know where she was going or at least lost her way and th ...more
I enjoy Barbara Erskine Novels. As ever, this one promised, and to some extent delivered, a good story. Yet alas, I have to agree with some reviewers that in the end, 'Whispers In The Sand' did not match the usual standard. There is a sense of writer exhaustion from the text with much repetition and silly, stock characters. But don't be put off the author's other books because they are thoroughly entertaining.
Kay Horlock
I loved this book from beginning to end. Having never visited Egypt but always wanting to and so watching anything to do with the country on TV,I can only say that the reader is transported to modern Egypt in everything but body. The story line does get a little complicated in places especially when trying to sort out who is actually after the diary! If you have an avid imagination don't read this at bedtime!
McKerley &  Schippers
I enjoyed Whispers in the Sand, as I enjoy well written historical novels with an Egyptian theme set in de age of discovery. I would have loved to be Harold Carter.

I'm also a big admirer of Barbara Erskine and have read all her novels.
My number one read was "Lady of Hay", the first book to keep me awake all night as I HAD to finish it;
and another one I've read twice is Child of the Phoenix.

Even though I like all Erskines books, in some I feel she slips, especially when looking at the consistent
I have enjoyed other books by this author and seeing as it's been a while decided to pick this on up from the shelf. It was an entertaining read overall but I did find it a bit repetitive at times, and the actions of Anna and other passengers on the boat did seem a bit teenagerish at times! However the descriptions of Egypt were great and has made me think about it as a place to visit. I also prefered the story of Louisa is seemed more believable.
The story in this book deserves four stars but I could only give it three because it was just too long and drawn out. The story was interesting and kept you reading...but when I got half way through I was ready for it to land! The author writes well but is very verbose. She describes every little, room decor, clothes ,land, sea and sky. Although it is done just doesn't allow you to get to the end of the story in a satisfactory time. There are a lot of characters to keep tr ...more
Jamie Nelson
I was really excited to receive my first book from the Goodreads giveaways.

Barbara Erskine weaves a wonderful tale mixing both the past and the present through the intertwining journeys between great grandmother and granddaughter to Egypt. Erskine's writing style draws the reader in so that you feel like you are experiencing everything simultaneously with the main characters. From cover to cover the story was wonderful!

Erskine paints such a vivid picture of Egypt there is no need to google any
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An historian by training, Barbara Erskine is the author of six bestselling novels that demonstrate her interest in both history and the supernatural, plus two collections of short stories. Her books have appeared in at least twenty different languages. She lives with her family in an ancient manor house near Colchester, and in a cottage near Hay-on-Wye.
More about Barbara Erskine...
Lady of Hay House of Echoes Kingdom of Shadows Midnight is a Lonely Place Child of the Phoenix

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