Honorable Mention for Genre-Based Fiction for the 2008 London Book Festival.
Shattered when his Bedouin wife dies in childbirth, Francoise Villier, wealthy and prominent Frenchman, flees the African desert — the horses and the people — he has come to love so dearly. He takes with him only his infant daughter, Cecile, faithful Bedouin servant, Jali, and a magnificent Arab mare. Before he leaves, however, he extracts a promise from one of the most powerful of the desert chieftains.
Years later, upon her father’s death, Cecile must make a momentous decision: stay in the country that has spurned her, and her mother’s heritage; or seek that very heritage in the heart of the awesome and terrible Sahara Desert. With only the aging but devoted Jali, her vast knowledge of the Arab horses her father bred, and enormous courage, Cecile finally embarks on the journey of a lifetime to find her foster father, the legendary Raga eben Haddal.
So begins a vital struggle to survive, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as Cecile’s European upbringing clashes with a Bedouin culture that seems brutal — and male oriented — on the surface. It is a struggle that will earn her a new name, Al Dhiba bint Sada — She-Wolf, daughter of Sada — and teach her about love and loyalty. And heartbreak.