Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Book Review: "City of the Sun" by Juliana Maio

Photo cred: NetGalley

I had read about and been eyeing up City of the Sun (Greenleaf Book Group) by Juliana Maio for some time so when I was invited to read it via NetGalley I jumped on it.  A World War II story told from the perspective of "Paris on the Nile" (Cairo), City of the Sun follows an American journalist, a Jewish refugee, and a Nazi spy.  I have always been drawn to stories from the Holocaust, but have never read one from the Egyptian perspective.  It was fascinating to learn how fragile (and vital!) a place Egypt was at the time.  Who knew!? The main three character's stories began separately, which started the story off at a somewhat slow pace.  Once the characters' lives started to entangle I was hooked.  I especially enjoyed reading about Maya (Jew) and Mickey(journalist)!  As Mickey is recruited by the US Embassy on a covert mission and becomes somewhat of a spy, and you find out Maya's brother is just the person he's looking for, the book becomes a page turner.  The Nazi spy I could have done without, although he was vital to the story.  He just seemed a bit forced into the story to me.  His parts of the story were quicker, which may be why I was more disconnected from him.  Mickey and Maya were more relatable and (sometimes) unbearably human, which is probably why I was more connected to their characters.  As these three characters' lives become more entangled, and their secrets more complicated, the story becomes more addicting.  Overall I really enjoyed it, and while years of history were stuffed into a shorter time period for the sake of story, I was very interested to glimpse a bit of history I was somewhat unaware.  I would definitely recommend this read, and make sure to read about the author at the end (it makes this story all the more interesting)!

Publication Date: March 10, 2014

This book was provided for review by NetGalley. 

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