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The Tenth Gift, by Jane Johnson - Excerpt

The Tenth Gift, by Jane Johnson - Excerpt

Ratings:

3.78

(133)
|Views: 251|Likes:
In an expensive London restaurant, Julia Lovat receives a gift that will change her life. At first glance it is a book of exquisite 17th-century embroidery patterns belonging to a woman named Catherine Ann Tregenna. Yet in its margins Julia discovers faintly written diary entries that date back to 1625. They reveal that Catherine and others were stolen from their Cornish church by Muslim pirates and taken on a brutal voyage to Morocco to be auctioned off as slaves. Captivated by this dramatic discovery, Julia sets off to North Africa to determine the authenticity of the book and to uncover more of Catherine’s mesmerizing story. There, in the company of a charismatic Moroccan guide, amid the sultry heat, the spice markets, and exotic ruins, Julia will discover buried secrets. And in Morocco, she will lose her heart just as Catherine did before her.

Though they live almost 400 years apart, the stories of these two women converge in an extraordinary and haunting manner that will make readers wonder—is history fated to repeat itself?
In an expensive London restaurant, Julia Lovat receives a gift that will change her life. At first glance it is a book of exquisite 17th-century embroidery patterns belonging to a woman named Catherine Ann Tregenna. Yet in its margins Julia discovers faintly written diary entries that date back to 1625. They reveal that Catherine and others were stolen from their Cornish church by Muslim pirates and taken on a brutal voyage to Morocco to be auctioned off as slaves. Captivated by this dramatic discovery, Julia sets off to North Africa to determine the authenticity of the book and to uncover more of Catherine’s mesmerizing story. There, in the company of a charismatic Moroccan guide, amid the sultry heat, the spice markets, and exotic ruins, Julia will discover buried secrets. And in Morocco, she will lose her heart just as Catherine did before her.

Though they live almost 400 years apart, the stories of these two women converge in an extraordinary and haunting manner that will make readers wonder—is history fated to repeat itself?

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Publish date: May 26, 2009
Added to Scribd: May 27, 2009
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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08/21/2013

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Praise for 
The Tenth Gift
“Remarkable... clashing cultures and wonderful characters.
Diana Gabaldon
,
 New York Times
bestselling author
“What a tangled web Jane Johnson weaves with the opening of abook of old embroidery patterns! Two heroines cross paths acrosscenturies as each tries to find what is most important to her. Discov-ering one’s authenticity is a story in which time doesn’t matter, andJohnson stitches the threads of both stories into a lovely, enticingwhole.”
Karleen Koen
,
 New York Times
bestselling author of 
Dark Angels
“A gripping historical mystery based on historical fact. A sensuous,richly textured novel.
Rebecca Stott
, author of 
Ghostwalk
“This is such a lush book! It transported me to another time andother places, enticing me into an exotic, turbulent world in whichpast and present are seamlessly woven into a mesmerizing story.”
India Edghill
, author of 
Wisdom’s Daughter 
“Exciting, intriguing, fascinating—and also illuminating.”
Rosalind Miles
, bestselling author of 
I, Elizabeth
“I was totally enthralled from the first page to the last by this dra-matic, exotic, and passionate tale that slips seamlessly through time.
The Tenth Gift 
leaves the fragrance of spices and the rustle of beauti-ful silks lingering in the mind.”
Rosalind Laker
, author of 
The Golden Tulip
“Brings to life a forgotten part of England’s past: the capture of inhabitants of the southern coast by Barbary corsairs in the early six-teen hundreds. Rich with detail, wonderfully researched, this is anovel that will surprise and delight.
Gerri Brightwell
, author of 
The Dark Lantern
 
13th of June. This daie markes  the marriage of oure new kyng Charles with Henrietta, Princesse of France & Navarre; & also the discoverieof the fishing bote Constanceoff Moushole rocks, all crewe lost & her gear cut lose. None knoe the fate of these men but   a Turkiss sword was found  stucke in her woode & Rob has  made mee sware to say nothynge of Pyrats or Turks  lest rumor spred feare. So I   wryte my secret here & this  Booke & I alone shall share it. I have heared the Turks are blacke men with shavenheades & crewel wayes. Rob  sayes they are no better thanwyld beasts, but I woulde trewlye love to see one for my selfe...

Activity (22)

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donnambr reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Jane Johnson's Crossed Bones has come at a great time - it seems there have never been so many good historical writers on our shelves and there is always room for one more. From the intriguing first line to the end of the novel this is exciting, entertaining and extremely enjoyable.I've seen various people describe it as a 'rip-roaring read' and a 'swashbuckling pirate tale' and I would agree with both. Jane Johnson has weaved an excellent story into a well-researched historical backround. If you doubt the extent of her reading, check out the back of the book where a list of further reading sources is provided.The writing style is clear, catchy and accessible and the characters are excellent. This enchanting mix of past and present is a real winner.
herschelian reviewed this
Rated 4/5
This is a book about many things: two women - one living now and one who lived in the early 17th century, embroidery, slavery, corsairs, Islam, Cornwall, Morocco. The romantic stories of Julia Lovett (21st century) and Catherine Ann Treggena (17th century) and how they were linked did not really excite me much. What did excite me was the amazing picture of life in rural Cornwall 500yrs ago, and the sights smells and sounds of Morocco then and now, Jane Johnson has a real knack of conjuring up the place and the time. She has researched the background subjects meticulously and put together an intriguing tale. I learnt a great deal from reading the book, and have subsequently followed up on some of the books Johnson includes in a list of recommended reading at the end. For some reason, the corsair raids on Cornwall and Devon during the 17th Century and their ability to capture and enslave English men women and children seems to have become a forgotten part of British history. 1,000,000 white slaves taken to North Africa is extraordinary, we are all taught about the black slave trade but this area seems to have been air-brushed out of the picture.
amaryann21 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
This is a beautiful story. The book starts with Julia, who has been having an affair with her best friend's husband. He gives her a gift of a centuries-old book about needlework (Julia owns an embroidery shop) and Julia discovers the story of Catherine, a young servant woman who is captured by Barbary pirates. The book goes back and forth between Julia's investigation of Catherine's life and Catherine's recounting of her journey. The author has a gift for descriptive writing- the colors, smells, tastes and life in the book leap off the page. It's also a very satisfying book that will hold you spellbound until the very last page.Food: This book is spiced cake with nuts and dates, served with mint tea. It is lush, dense, flavorful and refreshing, all at once, without being too heavy.
seaskys reviewed this
Rated 5/5
A really good read with wonderful descriptions of 1600's life in contrast to present day.
katlb82 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
The Tenth Gift was such a different premise to my current reading that I admit I found it difficult to get my head into a non-zombie, non-post-apocalyptic state of mind, and it has taken me nearly a month to complete. Not because I didn’t enjoy it, but because I kept getting distracted by all the other books on my e-shelf. I read a lot of reviews of this book before I started reading this book (something I rarely do), and the overwhelming majority of readers either didn’t respect, or found it hard to connect with the main character, Julia, mainly due to her choices in life. Personally, I didn’t have that problem – sure, I didn’t agree with some of her life choices, but I could understand why she made some of those choices. The character of Cat is particularly engaging – the journal excerpts are written in 17th century English which can be hard to read, until you get used to it, and her fiery, independent character make her the ultimate heroine of this book. The dedication of Rob is sweet but does stretch the imagination a little. There is a focus on Moroccan and 17th century English history, and the history of embroidery and needlework in the middle-east and England, which adds an extra point of interest. I’m undecided on this one – there were some very interesting parts, and some that just felt like padding.
puttocklibrary reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Because I enjoy cross-stitch myself, this book caught my eye. I really enjoyed the blend of history and romance with a touch of the paranormal. I really enjoyed how the two main characters' love of stitching drove both their own stories, as well as connecting them across so many years.A very good read, and I'm looking forward to her next book.
catty832 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
It was interesting, but the resolution was a little too pat. Also, the storyline with Andrew and the attic was completely unnecessary. I enjoyed it. I just didn't love it.
vernefan reviewed this
Rated 5/5
*Story Within a Story Linked by Thread*The two intertwining stories of both Julia in modern day Cornwall, and of Catherine in 17th century Cornwall mix together for an engaging and enthralling story within a story. The characters of both Julia and Catherine are very well developed, they are both captivating and interesting woman you will like. Both of their lives bring intrigue, passion, and endurance as well as heartache, love and pain. I was totally riveted to this novel, and could not put it down. The author's detailed and evocative descriptions of the actualities of the Barbary Pirate slave trade, and the luscious and exotic environment of Morocco then and now, leap off the page allowing the reader to feel as if they were there in that spiced and alluring foreign land. In a small way this reads like an old fashioned historical romance but it has much more substance and is written in a more literary style. The added attraction of weaving in the art of embroidery to both sides of the story was also very unusual. I eagerly await another masterpiece like this from the author, and think she deserves many claps and a standing ovation!
sds6565 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Superb, in every way. What a good read! We meet Catharine Tregenna who lived in Cornwall in the year 1625. Poor Catherine was abducted by Barbary pirates. She was thrown into the hold of a corsair and eventually to Morocco and sold into slavery. Catherine manages to keep a diary of her adventures.This diary falls into the hands of Julia Lovat who lives her life in the present day. Slowly Catherine's story begins to unfold.This book is a gem. It kept me reading till the very end. Thank you Jane Johnson for writing such a good book!
saskreader reviewed this
Rated 4/5
The Tenth Gift is part mystery, part romance, part fantasy, and part historical fiction, and I think all of these elements work together quite nicely. I love historical fiction, and I have never read of this period in history before, so I appreciate learning some of it. Many parts of the story are quite implausible (which I won't list here lest I spoil the twists of the plot), but I don't really mind. This novel is an escapist pleasure, and I highly recommend it.

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