Author: Barbara Ewing
Publication Date: 2007
Publisher: SphereSource: My own copy
Genre: Historical FictionGoodreads | Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk
Right so first thing I better mention is that I have to admit I am a little biased towards this author because I have read two of her books before (The Mesmerist and The Fraud) and LOVED them so for me so far she can do no wrong. And this one is no exception. Rosetta, who grows up loving the written word, was named after the beautiful port town in Egypt her father had visited. When the Rosetta stone is brought to England her passion for language is once more renewed and she dreams of one day visiting the land of the hieroglyphs. However her marriage to the handsome Harry Fallon and the marriage of her best friend Fanny Hall to a young clergyman turn out not to be what they dreamed of as young girls looking to be wed and it leads Rose into paths she never imagined and a terrible secret sees her set off alone on a journey to Egypt.
Set in the early 1800s this book takes us on one women's life during an extraordinary time in world history - through the French Revolution, the battles for Egypt between the English and the French, the discovery of the Rosetta Stone, and the Napoleonic Wars. Ewing has this incredible ability to capture the struggles and trials of an individuals story while entwining it with the much large history of the time. Her characters are strong, determined and heroic and you so badly want everything to work out for them even knowing that fluffy romantic endings aren't Ewing's style.
In a time when a women's place was seen as at home doing her husbands bidding, Ewing manages to portray the quiet determination of a number of individuals in the fight for greater equality. Miss Proud, the older unmarried neighbor, is possibly my favourite character due to her individuality and strength.
Rosetta is a story of adventure, suspense, love (of more than just the romantic kind), and one women's determination. I seriously can't recommend this book enough, in fact I'd recommend any of Ewing's books if you like a good historical fiction with strong female characters. You won't be disappointed.