"A Beginning" | Chapter 1
• While in Cairo in April of 1997, Amal dreams of visiting her great-uncle Sharif's house.
• Isabel brings Amal a trunk that once belonged to Isabel's great-grandmother, Anna.
• Amal begins to read Anna's journals that have been stored in the trunk.
• Amal reads that Anna is unhappy with her distant husband, Edward.
• Anna expresses her love for her father-in-law, Sir Charles.
Chapter 2 | Chapter 3
• Isabel reveals that she is attracted to 'Omar.
• The reader learns that Isabel's father named her after the Egyptian goddess Isis.
• Isabel plans to study reactions to the millennium in Egypt.
• Amal reads in Anna's brown journal about her last days with Edward.
Chapter 4 | Chapter 5
• Anna and Lady Caroline Burke visit in Rome.
• Isabel announces that her mother is dying.
• Amal begins to identify with Anna's character as she reads the journals.
• As Isabel discusses 'Omar with her mother, Jasmine suddenly recalls a love...
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