The Visitors - Sally Beauman
Despite the fact that I had a couple of issues with this novel, I thoroughly enjoyed it. First of all, it took a while for the actual story to get going. There are many characters, most historical, which needed to be introduced, and that took nearly 100 pages. But once that was done and I got to the meat of the story, it kept me hooked and I found the book difficult to put down.

The next problem I had was totally of my own making. I expected more history and less novel in this historic novel. That was not the case. This novel is about the fictional character Lucy Payne, and how she happened to be present to witness historic events.

The Visitors is a first person narrative, told by an elderly Lucy as she recounts how at the age of 12, she came to be in Egypt at the precise time when King Tut's tomb was discovered. Ms. Beauman beautifully weaves the present (it's actually 2002, but it close enough to present day) with the flashbacks.

Sadly, the main part of the story concluded once the tomb was found, and the final 100 or so pages were spent catching us up with what happened to Lucy over the next 80 years. I loved Lucy too much to see the rest of her story only in bits and pieces. I think I would have preferred a more abrupt ending after her return from Egypt, or a more detailed account of the rest of her life. However, given that the book is already over 500 pages, perhaps this was too daunting an undertaking.