A beautiful and heart-wrenching story of love and betrayal, set against a backdrop of British-occupied Egypt. Perfect for fans of Victoria Hislop, Dinah Jefferies and Leah Fleming.
When 22-year-old Olivia is coerced into marriage by the cruel Alistair Sheldon, she leaves England for Egypt, his home and the land of her own childhood. Reluctant as she is to go with Alistair, it’s in her new home that she finds happiness in surprising places: she is reunited with her long-estranged sister, Clara, and falls – impossibly and illicitly – in love with her husband’s boarder, Captain Edward Bertram.
Then Clara is abducted from one of the busiest streets in the city. Olivia is told it’s thieves after ransom money, but she’s convinced there’s more to it. As she sets out to discover what’s happened to the sister she’s only just begun to know, she falls deeper into the shadowy underworld of Alexandria, putting her own life and her chance at a future with Edward, the only man she’s ever loved, at risk. Because, determined as Olivia is to find Clara, there are others who will stop at nothing to conceal what’s become of her….
Although I read this to the end and enjoyed parts of the story, it wasn’t really what I was expecting. I went into it thinking I was going to experience atmospheric historical fiction, but it felt more like a dramatic romance with love, lies and revenge.
Having been to Egypt twice many years ago, I was attracted to this book by its location. Unfortunately I didn’t feel this book brought Egypt to life with the intensity I’d hoped. It lacked the magic of exotic surroundings I was hoping for.
I did like that there was a Hassan in the book, as I met a Hassan the first time I went to Egypt in 1996 and we have remained friends. We wrote letters to each other for years and are still occasionally in touch with each other through Facebook.
In my opinion, if you like drama and romance you’ll probably enjoy this more than if you’re choosing to read this because of your love of historical fiction or Egypt.
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