I simply had to show you both the UK and US covers of this book, both are gorgeous but I think I prefer the US cover, the font and the photograph give more of a flavour of the historical strand in this novel. This novel uses my all-time favourite fictional device it weaves together a contemporary and an historical narrative. The historical story features Evangeline English a lady cyclist who has travelled as a missionary with her sister to establish a mission in Kashgar. She is also keen to keep a record of their stay and turn that into a travel diary, she has tentatively named her project The Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar.
In present day London Frieda receives news that she was listed as next of kin for Irene Guy a woman she has never heard of and she must clear out a lifetimes worth of books, papers and belongings. She also encounters Tayeb a young man in need of friendship and somewhere to stay.
In alternating chapters both stories unfold. 1920s Kashgar is vividly brought to life by Suzanne Joinson's wonderful eye for detail. The present day narrative is also intriguing but I felt that the historical strand was more compelling and Eva a stronger character.
Nevertheless I found this to be a page turning and enjoyable read and have already recommended it to friends. I will be very interested to see what the author does next.
A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar is available now in paperback from Bloomsbury