My dear Isabelle, in the attic you will find a box with your name on it.
Isabelle's archaeologist father dies leaving a puzzle: a mysterious African amulet. But what is it? And why did he want her to have it? On impulse she takes a plane to Morocco to find out. But has Isabelle's curiosity got the better of her?
Almost killed in an accident which damages the amulet (revealing more of its secrets), she realises she must be careful. But when her rescuer, Taïb, who knows the dunes and their peoples, offers to help uncover the amulet's history, she cannot resist uncovering the story of Tin Hanan – She of the Tents – who made a legendary desert crossing alone, and her descendant Mariata.
Across years and over hot, shifting sands, tracking the Salt Road, the stories of Isabelle and Taïb, Mariata and her lover, become entangled with that of the lost amulet. It is a tale of souls wounded by history and of love blossoming on barren ground.
2021 Head of Zeus