Synopses & Reviews
Booker Prize Finalist
Sweeping and evocative--. An unconventional love story.--The Times (London)
With her first novel, In the Eye of the Sun, Ahdaf Soueif garnered comparisons to Tolstoy, Flaubert, and George Eliot. In her latest novel, which was shortlisted for Britain's prestigious Booker Prize, she combines the romantic skill of the nineteenth-century novelists with a very modern sense of culture and politics--both sexual and international.
At either end of the twentieth century, two women fall in love with men outside their familiar worlds. In 1901, Anna Winterbourne, recently widowed, leaves England for Egypt, an outpost of the Empire roiling with nationalist sentiment. Far from the comfort of the British colony, she finds herself enraptured by the real Egypt and in love with Sharif Pasha al-Baroudi. Nearly a hundred years later, Isabel Parkman, a divorced American journalist and descendant of Anna and Sharif has fallen in love with Omar al-Ghamrawi, a gifted and difficult Egyptian-American conductor with his own passionate politics. In an attempt to understand her conflicting emotions and to discover the truth behind her heritage, Isabel, too, travels to Egypt, and enlists Omar's sister's help in unravelling the story of Anna and Sharif's love.
Joining the romance and intricate storytelling of A.S. Byatt's Possession and Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient, Ahdaf Soueif has once again created a mesmerizing tale of genuine eloquence and lasting importance.
In Egypt Lady Anna Winterbourne meets Sharif, an Egyptian Nationalist committed to his country's cause. They fall in love and marry, but can Anna turn herself into an Oriental wife? A century later, Isabel Parkman - descendent of the marriage - is in love with Omar-al-Ghamrawi - another descendent.
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, this is an epic tale of two stories separated by 100 years of history, yet intricately linked. A love story of a century ago is revealed through notebooks and journals, and pieced together by descendants. A heart rending tale of love, politics and history, this is another Anglo-Arab masterpiece by the author of "In The Eye Of The Sun". "A magnificent work, reminiscent of Marquez and Allende in its breadth and confidence." "Guardian".