The Garden of Allah begins with the arrival in North Africa of an Englishwoman headed to Beni-Mora.
Robert Hichens makes the vast, unpopulated Sahara a vivid backdrop flooded with colors and vibrating with tom-toms, cymbals, castanets, and the howls of dogs for a story as unexpected as the scene.
The Garden of Allah by Robert Hichens
Grosset & Dunlap, 1904. 1905 bestseller #3. Project Gutenberg ebook #3637 My grade: A.
Domini Enfilden’s father, an English Lord, has recently died leaving her at 32 single, wealthy, and spiritually shaken by the collapse of her parents’ marriage and their Catholicism.
Domini hopes to find herself in the solitude of the desert, the vast empty space the Arabs call “The Garden of Allah.”
What she finds immediately is an annoying man said to be English, who is barely civil, and seems repelled by religion of every sort.
Aside from Count Anteoni, an Italian who is Arab in all but his failure to adopt Islam, the pair are the only Europeans in Beni-Mora.
The story is riveting.
Domini’s thoughts and mental corrections, her mood swings, her snobbery and charity all are perfectly believable.
Robert Hichens fascinates readers as he does Domini with the mysterious behavior of the man whose name they eventually learn is Boris Androvsky.
Then Hichens pulls readers into biggest mystery of all: the mystery of God’s love and forgiveness.
© 2015 Linda Gorton Aragoni