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When I cannot capture the imagination of a book, I tend to find the phrases that do not work with the time period. It was disconcerting to read a five person account. Not being a writer I do not know what could be done but it was a little daunting having to change thought processes for each main character.
A New Story on an Old Subject
Having recently read countless books on WW II, a surprise was to unfold as this story took on Egypt's part in this war. Who thinks of Egypt when on the subject of Hitler or the Holocaust?
The only fault with this story is the necessity to mention how gorgeous and well-dressed the main characters are. It was actually annoying at times because there was a fantastic story to be told and it would have been just as good with plain-looking heroes/heroines.
The ending was also a surprise...a nice one, but still unexpected.
This was a great read and I would recommend it to anyone...even those who say "please not another WWII book"!
This is not Phillipa Gregory...should not be compared as such. I actually enjoyed the book as an easy, light, quick read. Although I could predict what was going to happen, I still enjoyed the story but probably would not ever pick up another novel by this author. What I liked about the book was the time period and the information about Cairo during that time was new to me. What I did not like was the fact that it did not have as much depth of character (which I was expecting).
Once I got past the things I did not like and just accepted it for it was (a light read) I just relaxed & enjoyed.
If you are looking for a book to pass the time & not have to concentrate, this is for you.
I enjoyed reading this book. While it is somewhat of a 'lightweight' - it is difficult to suspend disbelief in the characters' larger-than-life circumstances - it is a fast, easy read. So once you just 'go with it', the story is enjoyable. I was a little disturbed by the way the author has every character involved in an extramarital affair (except the ones she kills off); all of whom having married the wrong person ~ definitely overdone. All in all - a good read airplane or beach read. But, best not to put it in front of the unread books in line waiting their turn on your bookshelf.
Not Philippa Gregory
I wanted to like this book, however the stilted, pedantic writing style kept getting in the way. The last 50 pages were bearable, but the canned,predictable ending spoiled even those few pages. I can't say it was even a good romance novel -- skip this one.
Fun and easy read but..
Palace Circle was a quick, enjoyable read but I had expected greater characters and more depth. The story could be told in a much longer version to take advantage of the settings and times. The first half went a bit more slowly for me. I enjoyed the latter part in Egypt though it was a setting used somewhat superficially. A fun read but does not make me waiting eagerly for the next book by this author though I would consider reading it.
I approached it with enthusiasm because of the publisher's comparison with Philippa Gregory. My advice? Drop her name from the blurb before publication and we won't expect so much. Aside from the vacuous story line, I was continually irritated by the author's attempt at giving the heroine a southern accent simply by leaving the ""g" off every word ending in "ing." It doesn't work! In spite of all my criticisms, I'll add an honest note. I wasn't feeling well when I read "Palace Circle,' and the truth is, it suited me fine at the time. No stress about how it would end, no emotional investment in the characters, and except for the "irritatin'" hiccups, a smooth read. If you're recovering from the flu, it might be a good choice. Otherwise, don't bother.
If you enjoy reading Penny Vincenzi and Barbara Taylor Bradford, I think you will enjoy this book. I love reading books that take place in the 1920-30s and have loads of detail about the parties the characters attend along with what they are wearing. Many real historical figures are included, such as the Duke and Duchess of Wales (before they became the Duke and Duchess) and Anwar Sadat. But the book does take a serious turn when it turns to Egyptian politics pre-WWI and during the war. I didn't want the book to end.