Dennis Batchelder's Reviews > Soul and Shadow

Soul and Shadow by Susan J. McLeod
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Dec 06, 08

Read in October, 2008

Nice mix of history, mystery, and romance

Susan McLeod's "Soul and Shadow" blends together Egyptian history and a modern day romance to make an engaging story. She tells it mostly in the present from the point of view of Lily Evans, a university researcher who studies and draws ancient Egypt artifacts.

At a museum exhibit Lily is approached by Dame Ursula Allingham, a retired archeologist. Dame Ursula wants to help set right an ancient problem: she's been haunted by Amisihathor, temple songstress. The lady believes that Lily can help right an old wrong and unite Amisihathor with her true love and husband.

Lily doesn't buy it, but she's getting romantically involved with Dame Ursula's grandson, and even though she denies it, she finds herself able to channel Amisihathor's memories. The reader is drawn in to Lily's unraveling of the ancient conflict.

Lily Evans and Amisihanthor are both sympathetic characters. Her mom, best friend, and ex-boyfriend, are all easy to picture. Her descriptions of ancient Egypt are colorful, and the conflicts they go through feel real and relevant.

McLeod draws quite a few parallels between the present and the past. I enjoyed how McLeod gave her readers room to piece the story together themselves, yet still leaving herself room to surprise us at the end.
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