Review

Children of the Storm

by Elizabeth Peters



As international tensions spiral out of control, we're all forced
to contemplate the uncertain present and future role of Middle
Eastern countries in global politics. Centuries-old ideological
conflicts have spilled over geographic boundaries into our own
daily lives, leaving roiling emotions in their tragic wake. Yet
there was a time when this region that lies half a world away held
a romantic allure for travelers and historians alike. The mystique
of this ancient cradle of civilization sparked the imaginations of
novelists like Mailer, Smith, McCullough and Michener, who
transported us with a stroke of their pen to the stark deserts,
lush river valleys and towering monuments of the Valley of the
Kings. Bedouin tents and bustling bazaars fascinated visitors from
all over the world.

Elizabeth Peters is one such author who found the beauty of the
land and the rich history of its people a compelling backdrop for
her historical fiction. With this latest novel, she continues to
reach beyond the ugly realities of today's turbulent Middle East to
a gentler era of the early 20th century, crafting her enchanting
mysteries from the fabric of her own life experience.

CHILDREN OF THE STORM is the fifteenth journal of Peters's beloved
fictional character, Amelia Peabody Emerson; it brings together all
the family principals of previous novels in one grand reunion. The
First World War has ended and the Peabody/Emerson generations are
gathering in Egypt for what is hoped to be an uneventful season of
reacquaintance and renewal, but fans of Amelia know that it isn't
likely to remain that way for long. Ramses and Nefret, David and
Lia, and Walter and Evelyn have arrived, accompanied by their
respective children, to lend a hand with the latest archeological
project that is preoccupying Amelia's husband, Radcliff.
Descendants of the faithful Adbullah still comprise the household
staff and lend their own colorful facet to the chaos that follows
when the priceless Jewelry of the God's Wives goes missing and
Ramses is briefly kidnapped by a woman claiming to be the legendary
seductress, Hathor. Suspicion for the theft quickly settles on
Emerson's half-brother, Sethos, who has shown up to aid in the
search for the jewelry but Amelia is convinced that, despite his
previous unsavory activities, he's not responsible for this latest
criminal caper. As for the abduction of Ramses, there seems to be
any number of possible candidates from his past youthful escapades,
creating embarrassment and marital tensions for Amelia's handsome
offspring.

While Amelia and her family are investigating these events, another
familiar face reenters their lives through a mysterious encounter
with a strange young boy in the marketplace. Even though she has
taken great pains to disguise herself, Sethos's estranged daughter
Maryam is eventually revealed to be one of the boy's traveling
companions and she soon joins the household, adding further strain
on the family dynamics. Ghostly visitors, a series of near-fatal
accidents and cryptic messages from the grave all serve to keep the
plot moving and the reader guessing. And, as usual, the formidable
Amelia takes aggressive action to unravel the puzzle, which evokes
Emerson's trademark tantrums and the inevitable verbal tugs of
war.

As an Egyptologist, Elizabeth Peters utilizes her substantial
expertise to provide an intriguing historical setting to the Amelia
Peabody series, reflecting the ambiance of Egypt in the early 20th
century. Although the realities of life on an archeological dig
were far from glamorous, Peters captures that romanticism of a
bygone era that we armchair adventurers love to experience. Ancient
secrets, eerie tales and the magnificence of the tombs themselves
provide a fertile springboard for the prolific storyteller. Perhaps
in these perilous days, it's just the antidote we need to remind us
that the true legacy of the Middle East was not always --- and
hopefully will not always be --- the face of terrorism.

Reviewed by Ann L. Bruns on January 21, 2011

Children of the Storm
by Elizabeth Peters

  • Publication Date: November 30, -0001
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Avon
  • ISBN-10: 0061032484
  • ISBN-13: 9780061032486