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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Friday, September 23, 2016

Mysteries beyond the Orient Express! Enthralling!

The Woman on the Orient Express by Lindsay Jayne Ashford. 

Set in 1928, the story opens later years with Agatha Christie, now a grandmother, being visited by a young man. He has with him a photograph of Agatha and two other women. One is his mother. He wants to know more about them, and in doing so, find out more about himself. He is convinced there is a mystery surrounding them that affects him. Agatha shares their story.
Meshing together fact and fiction Ashford has crafted a wonderful story depicting a painful part of Agatha Christie's life. This rather haunting and beautifully wrought story deals with the time after Agatha's  mysterious disappearance and subsequent painful divorce from her husband Archie.
Agatha travels to Bagdad via the Orient Express. It is on this trip that she meets two woman who will become important friends. Katherine is an archaeologist on her way to a dig in Ur. Nancy is a young woman, confused because of her lover's treatment. She is on her way to spend time with her cousin in Bagdad.
Ashford brings to life Agatha's journey, the exoticness of the sights and smells of the bazaars, the desert and the dig at Ur. The interplay between the three women is fascinating.
On this trip a very real life drama unfolds before Agatha's eyes, that transcends the fiction of her novels. 
I love the voice of Hercules Poroit  occasionally popping into Agatha's head. Directing her. He is like her inner self pointing the way.
A fascinating look into the life and legend that was Agatha Christie told compellingly in the first person cleverly blending fact and fiction. 

A NetGalley ARC


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