The Woman from Eden

The reviews for A Maiden's Honor are starting to filter in.  Readers seem to enjoy this story. Here's what people are saying so far:'

This is an epic love story set on the Barbary Coast in the time of Pirates better known as Cosairs. If you love to be transported to another time and place, with all the needed detail supplied for you to feel like you are there - do not miss out on this.

An exotic beauty with very little command of English, Sarah is in a difficult position to help her father when their ship is attacked by cosairs. The captain is immediately taken with Sarah and the rest of the crew are shipped of to be sold as slaves to the Dey of Algiers.

The second part of the story is set in Algiers. The Dey is a powerful man and a devote Muslim. The life in the harem is quite set in its ways. When two American women arrive as captives, the Dey makes a decision that alters his life and the lives of those around him in more ways than he could have thought.

The way that everything is set about and linked together makes this book a joy to read.  Yes, it is rather long, but it is set in a time and part of the world that needs details explained. I hope book number two of the series will be available soon!  
               Amazon Reviewer

What other people are saying about
A Maiden's Honor

This is a beautifully researched and written work. It discusses life in a harem, as well as life as a sultan's wife, in a historically accurate manner. It shows the cultural difference between American women and Turkish women, as well as Polynesian and "South Seas" women and English women. It has sweetness and romance. It shows the strength of women. This is a magnificent debut novel. Well done.

Wonderful book, believeable characters in settings appropriate for the setting in time. Fast paced, and lots to hold your attention. I can't wait for the next book to come out.

I really enjoyed this well written book. The story line is very different and inventive. I was hooked from the very beginning. My only complaint is that it ended too soon.

This is an epic love story set on the Barbary Coast in the time of Pirates better known as Cosairs. If you love to be transported to another time and place, with all the needed detail supplied for you to feel like you are there - do not miss out on this.

This story is an epic adventure of love, life, loss and heartache. I could easily see this novel made into a mini-series a bit like the show "Roots". In the early 1800's times were different. For Sarah Campbell, living on a south seas island with her father, life is going to change in ways that are inconceivable. Sarah and her dad are taken from the island and end up on a ship. Sadly, Sarah's dad is murdered to take him out of the picture in order to place Sarah into slavery. The adventure enhances when pirates enter the picture. Hassan Aziz is a man with a secret past who takes possession of Sarah and the story becomes so much more than a historical romance and the story line twists and wraps around the lives of not just Sarah, but others in the same situation as her. This is a well written epic novel that will take readers into the past when times were different, but love, life and struggles are a daily part of life. The story is easy to get lost in and I think readers will be glad to fall in and not come out into the last page is turned.

A Maiden’s Honor, Josanna Thompson’s sweeping debut novel, carries the reader, along with her beguiling heroine, Sarah Campbell, from the South Seas, through the harems of Algiers, to the shores of England. Packed with daring tales of piracy, loyalty, and passion, A Maiden’s Honor is an exciting new entry to the shelves of historical fiction and leaves readers wanting more.  

I could not put A Maiden’s Honor down. The first book in The Woman from Eden series by Josanna Thompson is a historical novel that is character driven and is so much more than just a tale told of times gone by. It is fast-paced, packed with action. The characters grow and change, and I am so looking forward to the second book!

From the Pros

Presa Na Palavras
by Madalena Costa

Despite the different scenarios, the cultural shock and the big number of characters found in this book, the central character is undoubtedly Sarah Campbell, described as a rarity among the women of her time, she is a woman who grew up on a remote island in the South Pacific and that, due to events that occur, ends up being involved in different cultures and forced to have to learn new customs and to live in a kind of life that she does not know and that terrifies her.

Still talking about the characters, the author was able to create distinct personalities, complex and framed in different cultures that, quickly, conquer any reader. Among the characters I have to highlight, obviously, Sarah and Hassan, two of the best characters I've encountered to this day. Also, Cora, Mamnoon and Naa'il.

Exactly because we have different cultures, we receive information about the Polynesian and Ottoman way of life, as well as, although less, the English way of life, which made the book extremely interesting.

In spite of being a fiction book, The Maiden's Honor, due to the historical details and its complexity (result of a great research from the author), gives the story a sensation of reality that is rarely found in nonfiction books.

The beginning itself is incredible and I was quickly addicted. The unfolding of the action, and the feelings that the action was provoking me, only made me fall in love even more with the book, a feeling that lasted until the last page. I have to mention the author's ability to describe the events, since it makes it easy to understand the past of the characters without being constantly describing them, and it truly seems that we are there with the characters, watching everything.

Although it is a big book, with over 500 pages, the story doesn't drag at all because there is something always happening.

And even closer to the end, when normally a book stars to cool down, the author continues to amaze. As for the ending, I just loved it and can not wait for the second book.

So, in general, A Maiden's Honor is undoubtedly one of the best books I've ever read. The historical details, the realistic events, the constant twists and turns, the fantastic characters, the characters development, the details and the sensations that all this provokes the reader, makes this book one of the most dense and incredible books that I've read in my life.

Words are not, and will never be, enough to explain my love for this story. I recommend it completely and I'm hoping that the author keeps conquering me through the rest of the series.

Romance Rewiew Magazine 
Francine Hollworth

Life in a Harem and the practices defined as part of life within a Sultan’s palace is unacceptable and sexist for 21st century thinking. Thus the era in which Joanna Thomson’s novel is set, it is nonetheless a safer place than most for those sold into slavery, and a strict hierarchy exists and woe betide anyone who breaks the rules. Strange as it may seem, women within Harems of the Ottoman Empire stretching to the Barbary Coast, had more rights and power than most European women had within marriages, so sayeth the renowned English aristocrat Lady Mary Wortley-Montague, who stated in one of her 18th century letters: “The Turks govern their country and their wives govern them. In no other country do women enjoy themselves as much.”

Be assured the author has researched her subject matter in depth, right down to names for individual items of clothing worn by women of the Harem, and of a south sea island maiden, though the true heritage of Sarah and the colour of her hair sets her apart from other women, just it had for another who arrived at the Harem and is thus presented to Naa’il Dhar. Throughout the beginning of the novel two stories of two women run parallel and finally merge as one, and yet neither woman meets the other. Whilst Naa’il is the central pin in their respective stories aside from the swashbuckling hero Hassan, Naa’il is a man of his time and his religion, wealthy and powerful, and yet his faith is tested, just as the hero’s faith and belief he can rescue the woman he loves is tested. 

Hassan Aziz’s existence as a Barbary pirate is key to knowledge in how to achieve his aims, but the fact he is not what he seems is also reliant on betrayal of those closest to Naa’il. This is a fascinating novel of south sea island innocence, treachery, lust, and love, the kind of love that comes once in a lifetime if a man is lucky, and both Naa’il and Hassan are driven to acts that astound both in their own way because of two women. So alike is Sarah to Cora, an American captive; Naa’il’s conscience plagues him for his unjust treatment of both women who refuse to submit and embrace his religious dictate. Although I mention love and lust, this is a historical novel combined with romance, and the novel is not a steamy read in the vein of eroticism. The characters are well-rounded, their faults exposed, and the punishment of slaves and concubines, or favoured wives who deceive, can be realistically harsh. All told this is an enlightening read with hints at how one person’s religion can give cause for another to doubt their own. 

Where to purchase
A Maiden's Honor

A signed and numbered copy of A Maiden's Honor is available for Pre-order at Inkwell Books. The ebook version is now available on Amazon ..

Purchase Kindle Version

I hope you will enjoy reading A Maiden’s Honor and the other books in The Women from Eden trilogy.
Bonding with Sarah Campbell over Orange Juice
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