Footprints in the Sand by Sarah Challis

About the book

When Emily Kingsley arrives at the church for her eccentric Great Aunt Mary’s funeral, she is still grieving for her broken relationship with the vain, mean and unfaithful Ted, and has little sorrow to spare. At the wake afterwards, she is dismayed to learn the content’s of Mary’s will. Emily and her cousin Clemmie must go to Mali, where they are to travel by camel into the Sahara Desert to scatter her ashes. Clemmie, fanciful and rootless, is thrilled at the chance of adventure. Emily is not. With immense reluctance, she agrees to travel to Mali, and find Timadjlalen, a place in the desert that no one has ever heard of. Why Mary chose it as her final resting place she cannot imagine, and the thought of a hot, pointless trip is almost too much to bear. But once Emily and Clemmie set foot on the Saharan sand, and begin to uncover Mary’s sixty-year-old secret, they come to understand why they must complete her journey…

Reviewed by Boarhunt WI reading group:

The first time the group has all agreed on a book. We all loved the story and characters and the lovely way it was written. A pleasure to read.

Star rating: ****

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7 thoughts on “Footprints in the Sand by Sarah Challis”

  1. Review by Ems Valley U3A Reading Group:
    An easy read and enjoyed by some members as an escapist book. However, the majority felt that the story and characters were predictable and the description and story clich├ęd.
    Star rating: **


  2. Review by Lymington WI Reading Group:
    A slow start but then developed into a good descriptive narrative with interesting details. Most of the group enjoyed this book.
    Star rating: ****


  3. Review by Sandy’s reading group:
    An easy read, albeit rather predictable and lacking depth. Characters fairly well defined and some descriptions of Mali were quite atmospheric. Some of us enjoyed it, especially the adventure/journey aspect but others found parts of it rather childish.
    Star rating: **


  4. Review by Stubbington Bookends Reading Group:
    For the first time in months a book which everyone found easy to read and very enjoyable. Some good characters and atmospheric descriptions of the desert/desert life brought the novel to life.
    Star rating: ****


  5. Review by Havers Reading Group:
    Well written by author who had experience of environment and the people. Exceptional description; funny, sad, mysterious. Much discussion from this unusual book. The desert came to life and caused one to want to be witness to silence and the stars.
    Star rating: ****


  6. From the Fareham 5:30 group: this was a light read over Christmas. But there is no depth to the characters, and we had very little to discuss about the book. The charcatesr are 2-dimensional steroetypes.The best bits were the comedy, such as interactions with the Elderly Tours. We enjoyed reading about the tribes and customs. One member would have given the book 4* (her sort of book), most gave it 2.5, I would have scored it 1*!


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