The Mistress of Nothing
When Lady Duff Gordon, paragon of London society, departs for the hot, dry climate of Egypt to seek relief from her debilitating tuberculosis, her ladyâ€™s maid, Sally, doesnâ€™t hesita...more
For a travel/adventure story, particularly one that is meant to emulate a Victorian expedition to Egypt, I found the narrative to be extremely lacking in the sensory detail and vivid description that I craved. The most sensuous Pullinger's language got was to state the obvi ...more
Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read w ...more
pg13 for unmarried relations of the *fade to black* type, illness, war/rebellion/suffering, and perhaps an epithet or two.
Still, it was compelling--the idea of English woman l ...more
The story is deceptively simple, but there's a lot in here, and it's a nuanced story with multiple themes. It appears straight forward, but w ...more
ENDING, as Sally watches her former Lady's funeral:
"But now I do know better, and in light of my Lady's behaviour towards me, I look back at Aunt Clara and I do blame her. How could she have seen me off, out of her house, into service, so quickly, so soon after the death of my parents? Me, her only sister's e ...more
It was fascinating following the trek through Egypt! Each place the characters visited was someplace that I looked up online so I could virtually travel with them through this magical, enchanting land (one of my favorite things to do while reading a book). The descriptions were brief but enticing.
Just as it was fascinating to virtually visit all of the places in Egypt, it was troubling to follow the characters through their roles. The story is based on a Victorian-era ...more
In 1862, Sally Naldrett is 30 years old, orphaned at a young age when her parents, Battersea shopkeepers, were killed in a train derailment in Clapham. She and her sister Ellen were sent to live with their Aunt Clara, who, unwilling to feed two more mouths, sent both of them out to service jobs as quickly as she could. Working her way up from a lowly scullery maid, Sally is now lady's maid to Lady Duff Gordon (Lucie), ...more
The story is told from the standpoint of Sally, lady's maid to Lady Duff Gordon, a society woman in London, who is extremely well thought of in social circles there. Lady Gordon suffers from what we know to be tuberculosis, but what is not really understood at the time, and it i ...more
The setting and backdrop of the story, a r ...more
The central protagonist and narrator of this story, Sally Naldrett, was the loyal and devoted lady's maid to Lady Duff Gordon but little else is known about her.
Lady Duff Gordon and Sally travel down the Nile and set up home in the arid air of the south of Egypt. Despite being good hearted and seemingly liberal (her ladyship treats h ...more
The Mistress of Nothing is Pullinger's fictional take on the life of Lady Duff Gordon's maid, Sally Naldrett. Of course, she researched and based the events on letters and documents from the time, ...more
When it goes bad, though, the story too seems to ...more
It is also intriguing to me that author Kate Pullinger, while born in BC, has lived in England since 1982, and writes about an English woman in Egypt, and yet this is considered (by the Canada Council and the Governor General Award body) to be a Canadian novel. I find myself pondering what makes a novel Canadian, and find myself pondering that an author being born in Canada is not ...more
Quite interesting, though Sally's ...more
ETA (03/06/2011): This story was an unbelievable read..for 248 page ...more
Born in Cranbrook, British Columbia, Kate dropped out of McGill University after a year and a half of not studying philosophy and literature. ...more