Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Saffron Gate” as Want to Read:
The Saffron Gate
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Saffron Gate

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  530 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
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 among
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Headline Review (first published 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Saffron Gate, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Saffron Gate

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,001)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Ena Hasečić
Riječ je o romanu koji prati Sidonie i njen život, najprije u Americi kada kao mlada doživi nesreću, a potom i u Maroku kada odlazi pronaći voljenog. Sve u svemu dobar roman, lijepi opisi Maroka, jedna drugačija kultura o kojoj nemamo prilike često čuti. Likovi su prilično nezanimljivi i nisam se 'zbližila' sa njima, stoga ocjena 3.
This is an excellent book
I liked the story The characters are very believable and lovable especially Sidonie and Aszulay
I loved reading about Morocco, the people and the customs ,this is a book one cannot put down. It is thoughtful, insightful, fascinating and very, very sweet at the same time. I give this book five stars.
Oct 20, 2010 Helen rated it it was amazing
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 Ma ...more
♥ Marlene♥
Jun 26, 2010 ♥ Marlene♥ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
And yet again I really enjoyed Linda Holeman's book. She has a great knack of making you feel you are there. I felt like I was in Morocco and the way she described it it was scary and beautiful. I had figured out what would happen in the end alas, but all in all another great book. 4.5 stars.
Mar 13, 2014 Jae rated it really liked it
This is the third book I've read by Linda Holeman, and yet again the author was able to transport me to another world with ease. I greatly enjoyed the descriptions of life in Morocco in the 1930s. The sights, sounds and smells of North Africa were vividly brought to life. Recommended.
Jun 27, 2013 Allison rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
I am not Holeman's target audience.

There is very little I liked about this book. I liked the colourful cover. I liked that I could imagine the scenes in the souks, because I recall them firsthand from my time in Qatar. I liked that it was relatively easy to read and follow. I liked that Sidonie liked to drive.

That's about it.

If one is even the slightest bit feminist, don't read this book. If one is offended by sweeping portrayals of women in the most biblical senses (literally, madonna vs who
Danijela Tomšić
Feb 28, 2015 Danijela Tomšić rated it it was amazing
"Ni jedan život nije malen, život ptice značajan je i koliko život kralja, samo malo drugačiji"
Feb 14, 2010 Julia rated it really liked it
I like Linda Holeman's books because of the places they take me. This one is rich in the description of Morocco. Having been in Tangiers, I could easily picture the crowded and dusty alleyways in the city with merchants competing for the tourist's attention. The main character in this story is a young woman who grew up in Albany, NY in a sheltered life because Polio made her an invalid. She later has an affair with a French Doctor who suddenly disappears after she tells him she is pregnant. She ...more
Sep 02, 2015 mirsmuse rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Missy Cahill
Aug 08, 2011 Missy Cahill rated it really liked it
As a teenage girl Sidonie O'Shea is struck down with Polio and left with a bad limp, as we watch her grow up, she finds herself rejecting society & becoming a recluse. When a accident leaves her scarred - emotionally and physically - she mets Etienne, a young French doctor who helps her back on her feet again. When Etienne suddenly leaves Albany without so much as a word goodbye, Sidonie for the first time leaves everything she knows & heads for mysterious Morocco to find him.

I absolute
Jul 23, 2012 Betty rated it it was amazing
After her father's tragic death, Sidonie O'Shea falls for a handsome and intriguing doctor from a strange African country. When he suddenly disappears at a critical point in Sidonie's life, she decides to follow him to his homeland in spite of warnings from well-meaning friends. After all it's the 1930s and young ladies were not supposed to go gallivanting around the globe on their own. What she finds in that land of mystery and mystique, leads her to contemplate a future in a lifestyle that she ...more
Jun 09, 2010 Vivian rated it it was ok
I love Linda Holeman's books. She has the ability to paint pictures with her words and transport the reader to another time and place. I couldn't wait for the publication of this book. I ordered from Canada, and started reading it the day that it arrived.
This one takes place in upstate New York and Morrocco in the 1930's.

I loved the parts of the book that took place in Morrocco, they were vividly and beautifully written, but skipped through the parts set in New York. I found them boring. It's pr
Jun 06, 2012 Patricia rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book though at times found it a little slow. While I liked the main character at the end at first her self indulgence was for me grating and is why I think the story plodded along in some points.
What I really enjoyed was the descriptions of Marrakesh and life in the villages and customs of the people. It takes place during the early 20th century.

It's the story of a young woman who after a car accident which causes her to have a disfiguring scar on her face becomes involved with
Jul 11, 2013 Pamela rated it really liked it
I read this novel in anticipation of my upcoming trip to Morocco. The story is wonderful, and the descriptions of Morocco and its people are excellent. It is the story of Sidonie O’Shea, a woman from upstate New York who lives a quiet life. She is drawn to travel to Morocco for reasons that we don’t learn about until the middle of the book - - a mystery that is intriguing and is used as a vehicle for creating well-rounded characters that we care about as we learn the secrets of their lives. In t ...more
Raquel Marques
Apr 13, 2014 Raquel Marques rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the book. I really liked her descriptions that made it easy to imagine though I haven't been to Morocco. This book felt like a guilty pleasure and an escape which was nice. I didn't feel particularly sorry for Sidonie but I don't think I was supposed to. This almost felt like it could be a Lifetime movie and I always love those every once in awhile.
Aug 15, 2014 Sara rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
This is the third book I've read by Linda Holeman, and it started kind of slowly for me. Her other two books grabbed me right from the start. Once the story moved from New York to Morocco, I was hooked and it just kept getting better.
Eileen Allen
Jun 14, 2015 Eileen Allen rated it really liked it
great escape reading. I really enjoy her books for exploring the settings in a way where we see all levels of society and get to escape to faraway places!
Amy Stead
Jun 24, 2014 Amy Stead rated it liked it
I like the ride Linda Holeman's books give to places and times that are beyond my experience. She shows cultures and settings that become real.
Steven Langdon
Nov 19, 2011 Steven Langdon rated it liked it
The Saffron Gate could be discarded as an improbable and overwritten fantasy, far too light to take seriously. But that would I think be a mistake. I enjoyed this book, it moves ahead with feeling and pace, and at its heart there is a respect and love for Morocco and for Islamic Africa that conveys some striking insights from a woman's perspective. Plus the inter-racial romance that blossoms is both fascinating and in the end believable. Sidonie is a character whose strength turns out to mature ...more
Eric Wright
Aug 11, 2010 Eric Wright rated it liked it
Sidonie O’Shea after a tragic accident leads a sheltered life in upstate NY. Doctor works on face and they become lovers. Then when she is pg, he disappears. She braves all to come out of her isolation to search for him in Marrakesh, Morocco. Her story of finding that he had a terrible disease, his obsession with his evil half sister. Sidonie’s discovery of this evil woman, the child she abuses and search for Etienne…only to be disappointed but to gradually fall in love with a strange man from d ...more
Nov 07, 2014 Rhonda rated it it was ok
So after reading most of Linda Holemans books,I can say this one was my least favorite.The lead is a real nut job that I wanted to throw around ,much like how our story's lovers treated her beloved cat Cinnabar (who she credits getting her through polio mind you!)Well I threw the book many times,protested to no one, then finished it Ugh...
Hope Cochran
Feb 18, 2015 Hope Cochran rated it liked it
Really shallow characters, but I did enjoy it. I read it on the plane to Marrakesh and that made it fun.
Dec 31, 2012 Julie rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the descriptions of Morocco and women's lives there. Like the author's books about India, she makes me see the colors and feel like I'm actually there. The story itself is rather weak, but she made it into a mystery, and it kept me going to the end. Like her other books, I guessed how it would end less than halfway through, but I still enjoyed it. There were enough twists to keep me avidly reading. My biggest complaint is for the first 2/3 of the book, the heroine is constantly ...more
Samantha Curley-Young
May 09, 2016 Samantha Curley-Young rated it really liked it
This was a lovely read, I loved the story line, loved the unfolding journey of self discovery the main character went on and the love story left me feeling like there is hope for us all in this world.
Debra Mooney
Aug 23, 2015 Debra Mooney rated it really liked it
Loved the details of travelling and living in Morocco
Dec 27, 2015 Cindy rated it it was ok
What a bitter disappointment. I'm sorry that I read this book beginning to end-with the expectation that there would be something unpredictable happen. This book seemed to me to never end-i have to say typically when I finish a book I'm a little sad that it's over-not this time! Holeman does a great job immersing the reader in the history and the settings of her books, however in this case-that wasn't enough to make it a pleasurable read. This is the third book by holeman that I have read and th ...more
Jan 17, 2013 Ivana rated it really liked it
I liked this book very much. I feel the beginning is maybe a bit too slow and not so gripping, but once you truly get into the book you can't put it down until you're done.

Sidonie is a very interesting character with an interesting story to be told. You don't necessarily like or dislike her, you just follow the story to see what will happen to her next. And in the end you do admire her for all the things she has been through and the person she has become, and you are happy for her for finding h
Jul 15, 2015 Johmal rated it liked it
I think maybe I just enjoy books that grabs me and drags me through many emotions and experience. I did like the Morocco feel of the book.. But I was just never captured in the book, it is a good story. Good characters. But not sure I will remember it for long
Sena Zimmer
Mar 18, 2016 Sena Zimmer rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys historical fiction and stories of womens survival in spite of daunting adversity.
Linda Holeman does not disappoint! I enjoyed her first 2 books and am ready to ready everything she has written. Her stories of women's strength of mind, body and spirit have been inspiring reads.
Jun 02, 2015 Becky rated it really liked it
love her books!!!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 33 34 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Salt Road
  • Secret of the Sands
  • Der Duft der Kaffeeblüte
  • Virgin Star
  • Maverick Heart
  • Autant en emporte le vent, tome 2
  • Dream West
  • Companions of Paradise
  • Blue Moon
  • Escape Not My Love
  • Dueling Hearts
  • Lady Miracle (Faulkener Family, #2)
  • Therapy, A Novel
  • Paris Requiem
  • Sun God
  • Love Me Tender
  • Rosewood
  • Into the Heart of the Country
Linda Holeman is the author of fourteen books of fiction. Her work includes two adult collections of literary short stories, Flying to Yellow and Devil’s Darning Needle, as well as the historic novels The Linnet Bird, The Moonlit Cage, In a Far Country, The Saffron Gate, The Lost Souls of Angelkov, and The Devil on Her Tongue. Her young adult body of work consists of a collection of short stories, ...more
More about Linda Holeman...

Share This Book

“But it wasn't just the distance. It was what had happened to me since these days, those endless, quiet days when I thought my life would always continue in that way. When my life consisted of small, certain pieces of a larger, but basically simple, puzzle.
When I was certain that I always knew where each piece fit.”
“And now the thought came to me that I lived much of my life through the pages of books as well. That perhaps I, too, was only a paper figure. A cut-out, or silhouette. Flat.
I always thought I knew the shape of my life. Of course I thought I knew about life, thought I knew all I needed - or wanted - to know. And yet, like the opening left when a burning star falls from its perch, now an unexpected hole was left in what was once a solid curtain of understanding... ( )... Sitting under the cold stars, I understood that it was death that made me recognize life, and the existence, or pherhaps the non-existence of my own beeing.”
More quotes…