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The Magician's Wife

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Emmeline is the young, lovely wife of Henri Lambert, a world-famous magician. But her secluded, bourgeois existence vanishes forever when she and her husband are summoned to the country estate of Napoleon III. Lambert's mission for the Emperor is crucial to his country's empire-building future. He and Emmeline are to travel to North Africa where, through his flawless illusionist's art, Lambert is expected to perform a near-miracle: to show the primitive Bedouins that France's power is absolute. But the Arab tribesmen are in thrall to another "Holy God", an aging marabout they look upon as a living saint - and their savior. It is up to Lambert, with the help of Emmeline, to be hailed as the greater magician. Only by demonstrating irrefutable proof of his magic can Lambert help the French imperialists quash imminent rebellion and complete their conquest of Algeria. The customs and ways of the Moorish people are strange to Emmeline - and strangely liberating. Beneath the mesmerizing glare of the North African sun, she finds herself succumbing to the attentions of Colonel Deniau, the charismatic chief of the Bureau Arabe. Gradually, she begins to shed her inhibitions, along with her provincial ideas of patriotism and propriety. It is Emmeline who threatens the outcome of the French mission and risks her own life in an act of courage and betrayal that will have unforeseen and dangerous consequences, and leave her profoundly changed. Inspired by a true story, set against the breathtaking landscape of our not-too-distant past, The Magician's Wife sweeps from the splendor and pageantry of the French court to the majesty and mystery of the Sahara.

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