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The Tenth Gift: A Novel | [Jane Johnson]

The Tenth Gift: A Novel

In an expensive London restaurant, Julia Lovat receives a gift that will change her life. It appears to be a book of exquisite 17th-century embroidery patterns - but on closer examination, Julia finds it also contains faint diary entries. In these, Cat Tregenna, an embroideress, tells how she and others were stolen out of a Cornish church in 1625 by Muslim pirates and taken on a brutal voyage to Morocco to be auctioned off as slaves.
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Publisher's Summary

In an expensive London restaurant, Julia Lovat receives a gift that will change her life. It appears to be a book of exquisite 17th-century embroidery patterns - but on closer examination, Julia finds it also contains faint diary entries. In these, Cat Tregenna, an embroideress, tells how she and others were stolen out of a Cornish church in 1625 by Muslim pirates and taken on a brutal voyage to Morocco to be auctioned off as slaves.

Captivated by this dramatic discovery, Julia sets off to North Africa to determine the authenticity of the book and to uncover more of Cat's story. There, in the company of a charismatic Moroccan guide, amid the sultry heat, the spice markets, and exotic ruins, Julia discovers buried secrets. And in Morocco - just as Cat did before her - she loses her heart.

Almost 400 years apart, the stories of the two women converge in an extraordinary and haunting manner that will make readers wonder: Is history fated to repeat itself?

©2008 Jane Johnson; (P)2008 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

"A remarkable view of Barbary pirates and their times, and an engrossing romance of clashing cultures and wonderful characters." (Diana Gabaldon)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (83 )
5 star
 (25)
4 star
 (33)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.7 (41 )
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Story
4.2 (38 )
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  •  
    Linda Leeper 11-29-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
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    "Great Listen"

    Very entertaining and educational. I liked the references to the needle work but if you don't stitch you may not like this part. The use of two narrators helped keep things straight as it switched between present day and 1625.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lulu 05-25-12
    Lulu 05-25-12

    I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "An Engaging Read, But I'd Hoped For More"

    The premise of this book sounded right up my ally. And there were parts of it I really enjoyed. But it could have been much better. The parts of the book that took place in the past were better written than the current day story. The heroine's "friends" weren't friends. And the heroine's initial love interest wasn't lovable at all. She seemed to surround herself with poor excuses for loved ones, and when she finally formed a lasting relationship, the book was almost over.

    The relationship between the historical heroine and her captor was unbelievable, but since it was historical, it was easier to swallow and parts of the book that dealt with these two were truly fun to read.

    I can't exactly recommend this book, but I can't not recommend it either.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    02-06-09
    02-06-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    5
    3
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    "Loved it!"

    This book was highly recommended to me by a fellow needleworker. The references to needlework, however, are just embellishments to the story of two women whose lives closely parallel each other 400 years apart.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dorothy Allentown, PA, United States 07-20-11
    Dorothy Allentown, PA, United States 07-20-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    11
    11
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    2
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    "People aren't perfect--even in fiction"

    This was a wonderful story---a modern day love affair (no angels there), 17th century pirates, women's changing place in the world, clashes of cultures, and embroidery. The narrators are perfect (thank you again, John Lee), and besides, any story that gets me up out of bed and walking in 90 degree heat has got to be engrossing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonnie Bellmore, NY, United States 11-22-10
    Bonnie Bellmore, NY, United States 11-22-10 Member Since 2001

    BJS

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1065
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    573
    401
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    7
    Overall
    "Abusive relationships"

    One of the reviewers was very hard on the female characters, (ie being in an adulterous relationship with best friends husband) 1-The relationship started before her friend married him. 2-For what ever reason, she was a weak person who was manipulated by Michael, and always took him back. (just like battered wife syndrome) The other is a girl in 17th century England, hoping for a better life, and dreaming for more than her guardians want for her. Is that wrong for a 19 year old girl? There are parallels and as the story progresses, much more is revealed. (maybe even a ghost or two). Yes it did bother me in the beginning that the female lead character was abused, emotionally by this man for over 7 years. However if you give the story a chance, it does have twists and turns that I wouldn't have thought when I first started listening. John Lee and Susan Duerden are wonderful narrators, (one of the main reasons I chose this book) You are taken from 21st Century to 17th Century, to get the connection in the story. I thought it was well done and worth a listen. .

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cat63 07-21-09
    Cat63 07-21-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    13
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    6
    Overall
    "Probably geared more to women, but..."

    A romance novel but not overly reliant on that angle to carry your interest. You could say that things are a little too convenient when all is said and done but I still enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cs 05-19-09
    Cs 05-19-09 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
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    188
    9
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    Overall
    "Hated the Characters"

    This book had some great reviews, but I didn't like either of the two main female characters. I have to admit that I only listened to 5 or 6 chapters, because I found the characters so unappealing. It's not just that the whole plot of the first woman was about her long term adulterous affair with the husband of her "best friend", which I didn't like, but she wasn't a nice person.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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