Bookshelves: Adult, Historical Fiction
Rating: 4 of 5 stars (It was good)
Recommended Age: Adult (WWII, Sex Scenes, Murder)
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This was an impressive debut novel. I love historical fiction and I thought the idea of Egypt during early WWII was quite intriguing. We meet Maya, a Jewish refugee from Germany stopping on her way to find sanctuary with her family and Mickey a new journalist looking for the story that will make his career. I really enjoyed Maya. I felt she had just the right amount of rebellion in her well-guarded heart after all she had been through. There were only a couple points I felt she went out of character and that threw me. I didn't really love Mickey or hate him. He was just there. I did love how Egypt was brought to life at the time and how real historical figures were used. I also enjoyed how at the end, the author told which characters were based on real figures and which were fiction. I definitely learned another side to WWII I didn't know much about. There was a lot of description and quite a bit going on, so it wasn't a quick easy read, but it was done well. I don't know that I would consider this a thriller, it did have spy/mystery intrigue going on and I was curious but it didn't really have me on the edge of my seat type of excitement for what comes next.
The two sex scenes in the book really threw me. There was a flow and the writing was done well, I enjoyed the description, but the sex scenes just didn't really add to the story. I didn't really get the first one at all, it just was kind of there. The second, I get the throw caution to the wind moment she was trying to establish with Mickey right before she left but I just felt it was too much, or perhaps too descriptive? I felt that if there was going to be a sex scene it should have glazed over it more because of her personality, it just didn't feel right. Almost like it was thrown in just to throw it in, it didn't really add to the story.
The ending felt sort of rushed to me. I enjoyed how things worked out in some ways, but others seemed hastily wrapped. Considering this is a debut novel I am really impressed. I will definitely be watching the author in the future.