Afternoon my lovelies and happy Easter Monday. I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend – it’s been SNOWING here in Kent today which is just bizarre!!
So today I’m delighted to be on the blog tour for The Girls from Alexandria by Carol Cooper, a wonderful, thought provoking coming of age/family mystery/historical fiction novel.
about the girls from alexandria
‘Memories are fragile when you are seventy years old. I can’t afford to lose any more of them, not when remembering the past might help with the here and now.’
Nadia needs help. Help getting out of her hospital bed. Help taking her pills. One thing she doesn’t need help with is remembering her sister. But she does need help finding her.
Alone and abandoned in a London hospital, 70-year-old Nadia is facing the rest of her life spent in a care home unless she can contact her sister Simone… who’s been missing for 50 years.
Despite being told she’s ‘confused’ and not quite understanding how wi-fi works, Nadia is determined to find Simone. So with only cryptic postcards and her own jumbled memories to go on, Nadia must race against her own fading faculties and find her sister before she herself is forgotten.
Set against the lush and glamorous backdrop of 20th century Alexandria, Carol Cooper’s The Girls from Alexandria is equal parts contemporary mystery and historical fiction: a re-coming of age story about family, identity, and homeland.
Publisher:Agora Books (1 April 2021)
Formats available: eBook & Audiobook
Nadia is a 70 year old woman in hospital and on the verge of being put in a care home. But she’s determined for that not to happen and knows the only way to stop it is by getting in contact with her sister, Simone. The sister who has been missing for 50 years……
Whilst trying to understand what is happening with her health, she delves deep in to her memories to try and figure out what happened to her sister all those years ago. But most of the hospital staff don’t even believe she has a sister and think she’s just confused. But will she find her despite all the odds?
I really loved the mix of this story. Partly historical fiction, set in 20th century Alexandria; partly coming of age and partly mystery, there is plenty of things to keep you engrossed. Nadia is a wonderful characters; I just wanted to go to the hospital and help her look for Simone! The author does a brilliant job of getting across the struggles Nadia is going through with her memory, her health and modern technology – trying to navigate the internet via an iPad!
The story switches between the now – Nadia in hospital, looking for her sister; and her memories of growing up, her sister, and her life. It was really interesting learning about life in Egypt and the struggles that Nadia and her family experienced over the years, many of which I believe were reflected in real life. It was also fascinating learning about the changes that have taken place across the decades.
The mystery of her sister completely sucked me in, and although I figured out most of it quite early on, I still wanted to keep reading to find out if I was right, and what had happened to her in the meantime. The ending was so satisfying and I really felt like I’d been on a journey with Nadia. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her from a young child, all through her life and was completely invested in her as a character.
This is a completely different story to anything I’ve read before, and I loved the uniqueness of it. I’ll definitely be looking out for more from this author! So if you’re looking for something that will draw you in and keep you engaged, with a different setting, a brilliant mystery and a satisfying ending, and a wonderful protagonist, then you should check this out. Recommended by me.
about the author
Carol Cooper is a doctor, journalist, and author. Born in London, she was only a few months old when her cosmopolitan family took her to live in Egypt. She returned to the UK at eighteen and went to Cambridge University where she studied medicine and her fellow students. On her path to a career in general practice, she worked at supermarket checkouts, typed manuscripts in Russian, and spent years as a hospital doctor.
Following a string of popular health books as well as an award-winning medical textbook, Carol turned to writing fiction. Her first two novels were contemporary tales set in London. Ever a believer in writing what you know, she mined the rich material of her childhood for The Girls from Alexandria.
Carol lives with her husband in Cambridge and Hampstead. She has three grownup sons and three stepchildren.
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Let me know if you read this and what you think!
Have a wonderful day all