The English Girl 3 (Pages 232 – 278)



Oh my God!!! Joan is about to get into a situation she doesn’t even know how she will get out of. She visits Salim once more in jail, and this time Maude sends a package for him. She thinks that this will be the last time she will see him as the Gibsons and Rory have been hinting that they should go home soon. Salim tells her that she should do what her heart wishes her to do. Days later she learns that there is a prison break, and the escapee is Salim, who somehow had a gun with him and killed a prison warden. Joan knows at once that the gun came in the package she gave him, so the next thing she does is to go and see Maude. Joan feels used, and Maude confirms her fears. Joan feels silly for having trusted these people, and now she learns that Salim is not a simple political prisoner, but one of the rebellious people who might kill her brother. Maude dismisses her unkindly, but when she is leaving, Abdullah expresses his gratefulness and tells her that Salim wants to thank and see her that night.

Despite what she knows, Joan goes to meet Salim, and then he proposes a crazy plan. In two days’ time he will be waiting for her and take her to the top of the mountain, which is Joan’s desire, to be the first European to be there. At first Joan thinks this is impossible, but her desires are strong, so while Rory arranges everything for their departure, the day they are supposed to leave, Joan escapes and meets Salim. I am so afraid for her. She doesn’t know anything about Salim, and he has proved he can be dangerous. I wonder if she is even attracted to him, and that is why she has overlooked everything else. I am really scared for Joan. I also wanted her to hook up with Charlie Elliot. I have the feeling she will see him at some point. I really like Charlie because Salim is too intense and will only bring complications to Joan.

As for the parts about young Maude, it is 1909 and we learn that Nathaniel married his fiancée, Faye, but the marriage only lasted three years as Faye died. The last time Maude saw Nathan, they talked about Oman, and he expressed his wishes to go there. Maude suggested they could go together, but she realised that this was something he had to do alone. Maude is still totally in love with him, but she knows that even though his wife is dead, there is no hope for her. Then we learn about her expedition through the desert. She is happy even though it is a very hard trail. Then her mood plummets when her faithful servant, Haroun, becomes sick with dysentery and dies. Maude continues the journey, but she is not as happy as she was at first, and then they reach a huge dune, which she thinks is insurmountable, but she tells herself that nothing can stop her. Otherwise, all she has gone through and Haroun’s death will have been for nothing. In this journey she keeps having a silent dialogue with Nathaniel as she mentally writes a letter to him. I think that she will be disappointed in him at the end of this journey. I wonder where Nathan is. Is he the one with the Bedouin they saw in the distance and looked dangerous? I am dying to know what happened between Maude and Nathan in the end, as we know that stopped their friendship forever.


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