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Under the tablecloth, Frances's hand reached for mine and clasped it. I knew what it meant, that clasp and the mischievous grateful glance that accompanied it: it meant I was thanked, that there were secrets here. I could accept that. I too had secrets - who doesn't? Sent abroad to Egypt in 1922 to recover from the typhoid that killed her mother, eleven-year-old Lucy is caught up in the intrigue and excitement that surrounds the obsessive hunt for Tutankhamun's tomb. As she struggles to comprehend an adult world in which those closest to her are often cold and unpredictable, Lucy longs for a friend she can love. When she meets Frances, the daughter of an American archaeologist, her life is transformed. As the two girls spy on the grown-ups and try to understand the truth behind their evasions, a lifelong bond is formed. Haunted by the ghosts of her past, the mistakes she made and the secrets she kept, Lucy disinters her past, trying to make sense of what happened all those years ago in Cairo and the Valley of the Kings. And for the first time in her life, she comes to terms with what happened after Egypt, when Frances needed Lucy most.
Sally Beauman was born in Devon and graduated from Girton College, Cambridge. She began her career as a critic and writer for New York magazine and continued to write for leading periodicals in America and the UK after returning to England. In 1970 she was the first recipient of the Catherine Pakenham Award for her journalism, and at the age of 24 edited Queen magazine. She has written for the New Yorker, The Sunday Times and the Telegraph Magazine, where she was Arts Editor. Sally's novels have been translated into over twenty languages and are bestsellers worldwide.