After about an hour of this the wind came up. An already cold night turned bitter, with the added pleasure of sand driven into our faces. I took off my spectacles, which were in danger of being sand-blasted into opacity if not actually blown off my nose, wrapped my abayya more firmly around my body, and followed the dim form ahead of me.
It then commenced to rain. Ali and Mahmoud appeared, waiting for us to catch them up so they could help control the mules. Soon the drops were pelting down; lightning and thunder moved in on us until the storm was directly over our heads as we pressed on, clinging to the halters of the skittish animals for fear our tents and pans would gallop off into the night. The track, never a road, turned slick, and then sticky, until even those of us who had four feet were having a hard time of it.
When the hail began I stopped dead. “Damn it all!” I shouted at full voice, necessary against the rush of wind and the fast-increasing crescendo of pings of the hailstones on the big, convex iron saj. “Why is it so almighty important that we reach Beersheva tonight?”
Read Laurie’s thoughts about writing O Jerusalem on her blog, Mutterings.
Buy It Here
Signed or not, here’s where you can buy the book.
What they say
For years now, fans have been wondering about the ‘lost’ Russell adventure so briefly yet tantalizingly alluded to by Mary in the middle of ‘The Beekeeper’s Apprentice’. Now, at last, ‘O Jerusalem’ provides readers with the true story of Holmes and Russell’s visit to Palestine. Full of intrigue, suspense, and Laurie’s trademark dry wit, this fast-paced fifth book in the series is sure to become a favorite with readers. – from the official Mary Russell site.
Disguising themselves as Arabs, Russell and her mentor Sherlock Holmes enter the thick of things in Palestine, where a British military government is trying to maintain stability in the face of rising discontent.… Once again King’s considerable talent makes history virtually leap off the
page. With the feminist heroine chronicling events and the cerebral detective stirring the pot, readers can’t lose. (Booklist)
Laurie King has painted a lush portrait of this troubled area and its historical background at the end of the war. Her attention to detail is meticulous…the sense of place is so real, the reader can feel the sting of the sandstorm, feel the sun’s scorching rays, shiver in the chill of the desert night and thrill at the sight of the golden city of Jerusalem. (Historical Novel Society)
This is one of the great novels about Palestine, realistic and subtle in its portrayal of the land, its inhabitants and languages. (Jerusalem Post)
For a timeline and various links, go to Mary Russell’s World
For a bibliography and Laurie’s suggestions to teacher and book groups, click here.
Film of Allenby’s entrance to Jerusalem, 1917 (thanks to Deborah Keep)
|The Armenian church of Fr. Demetrius||A souk in the Old City||A fresh water spring near the Dead Sea|
|The Mar Sabas monastery|