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BJ (Mukwonago, WI)
A New Perspective
I found City of the Sun an enjoyable read especially since historical fiction is not a genre I would typically choose. The story as a mystery intrigued me more than anything to begin with, but as I continued through the book I realized I was being drawn in--I wanted to know more about WWII along with the multiple geographic locations and cultures it affected. Believable fiction and a good first novel, this is definitely one that could be adapted into a film.
Marcy C. (Minneapolis, MN)
City of the Sun
This was an enjoyable book and I would recommend it to anyone who appreciates historical fiction. I have read numerous works of fiction that use WW II as the setting but I have never read one that took place in Northern Africa.
Zonetta G. (Winter Springs, FL)
City of the Sun
The author introduces the reader to a segment of WWII that was unfamiliar to me. She is obviously extremely knowledgeable and passionate about Egypt and its peoples and the conflicting ideologies of the various factions, and the Jews of Egypt. While her basic premise and plot were intriguing, I found the development of her main characters a little weak--as if written for a younger audience. I was not as invested in the main couple as I would liked to have to been. Their relationship was a little forced unbelievable. The last quarter of the book was much more exciting, even though a little confusing with all the various characters. The book does, however, inspire an interest to learn more about the North African Theater of WWII.
Harriette K. (Weston, FL)
City of the Sun
A family consisting of father, brother Erik and sister Maya flee Nazi Germany and find themselves in Cairo as the war is being fought in North Africa. It is 1942 and the war is very close to Egypt. Erik is a scientist with knowledge of the development of atomic weaponry. They are taken in by a Jewish family that has deep roots in Egypt. At the same time, a Nazi spy is looking for the scientist so that the Nazis can use his knowledge and an American journalist who wants to rescue the scientist and send him to the U.S. so that he can help them work on the atomic bomb. Nobody knows the true role of anyone else in this plot, and, if that isn't enough, a romance is thrown into the mix for good measure. This is a very well paced tale and although the reader knows everything, it makes for a very good, fast read. We also get a glimpse into the life of Jews in Egypt at this time. The chronology might not be exact, but that's okay, too. I certainly recommend it as a nice, fast paced thriller.
Tilli F. (Florence, MA)
A good read
I was at first put off by the colloquial style of the author but then got into the story. It is interesting because of the setting. Egypt during the second world war is something I knew nothing about, and the mixture of Egyptians, Arabs, English and Americans, and the power struggles between and among these groups is at once confusing but intriguing. And, of course the Jews trying again to escape. Parts of the story are emotionally riveting, but for the most part the author does not seem to feel the tensions of the environment she has created. All in all, a good read, not a great one.
Esther L. (Newtown, PA)
City Of The Sun
In 1941 the Egyptian Jewish community feels under the protection of the King,even as Rommel's Afrika Korps is closing in. A young German refugee is being sought by both the Germans and the Americans for their weapons program in the race for a nuclear bomb. The story is very interesting and well told although it can't be compared to books in the espionage/spy thriller genre. I did really enjoy City Of The Sun and will pass the book along to my friend to enjoy.
Daniel A. (Naugatuck, CT)
City of the Sun
This is the first book written by the author and it is a page-turner. It is fast-paced and the story put me right next to the characters in WWII war-torn Cairo.
Ann W. (New York, NY)
lost and misplaced in time
The story is about war, and spies, and Jews living in Egypt, and if that's not enough, it's also a love story.
I would definitely read anything else this author would write; she is really good, and I highly recommend this book to any History buff. 4 stars
I had a very mixed reaction to this book. The chronology is wrong, even through the author acknowledged some of this in an afterword. Characters are not very interesting. The novel was filled with information, not always relevant to the story. The author alludes to Velodrome d"Hiver which occurred in 1942. Yet what actually happened was buried until after the war. The French have yet to really acknowledge what occurred. Maya deceit about herself was unrealistic. All Arabs are not Moslem yet that was the implication. The research gave some interests tidbits but ignored other people. Nasser and Sadat were close. He was in Cairo when Lamson incident occurred in 1942.
The end was also unrealistic but formulaic.