A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar
In 1923 two sisters set off on a mission to Kashgar, located on the Silk Road, though they speak little or none of the languages in the region. Lizzie is on fire with religious conviction instilled by Millicent, who is in charge of the mission. Evangeline is not convinced of the value of their work, but is coming along to protect her sister as well as to travel and experience the world, riding her green bicycle for hundreds of miles as they travel through deathly heat in the desert, and extreme cold in the passes of the Celestial Mountains.
In present-day London Frieda returns from one of her frequent and lengthy absences for her job to find a homeless man sleeping outside her door. Tayeb is an artist who often draws birds and feathers, as he grew up working with birds in his homeland of Yemen. He assists her when she inherits a flat and its contents, including an owl, from a woman she does not know.
Beautifully written, the two stories wind around each other, linking the challenges and traditions in the lives of the two women.
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