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City of the Sun
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City of the Sun

by Juliana Maio

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5922200,849 (3.48)1
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    House of the Hanged by Mark Mills (viking2917)
    viking2917: Good WWII-era historical fiction.
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I enjoyed this book and you should too. Set in Cairo during WWII, everybody is looking for somebody before the war arrives in the city. ( )
  JohnFallows | May 12, 2015 |
Book Readers Review
“Paris on the Nile”, Egypt, World War II, Espionage, Jewish refugees, love, are some of the elements of this incredible story. Readers who appreciate historical fiction, will love Juliana Maio's City of the Sun. Juliana brings to life WWII set in Egypt. The novel is rich with historical figures and details of the Second World War. Nazi conspiracy with the Muslim Brotherhood adds to the Egyptian people’s resentment against the occupying British. The Americans are on the edge of being thrown out of Cairo by the British. Intrigue and romance are intertwined resulting in a suspenseful and passionate book.

It is not necessary to say more about the story. The book description says it all. I like the author's ability to combine historical events and imagination to culminate in an intriguing tale. Maio has developed characters that are believable and grow stronger as the book progresses. Her connection with Egypt and passion is evident in her writing. Juliana has done a remarkable job of capturing the essence of a key time in western and Middle Eastern relations. I absolutely recommend this book! I received a copy from NetGalley in return for an unbiased opinion. Thank you NetGalley and Juliana.
http://bookread-mumswritings.blogspot.com/2015/04/city-of-sun-by-juliana-maio.ht... ( )
  pangirl | Apr 26, 2015 |
I won this book from Goodreads First Reads giveaways.

Set in Cairo during the height of WWII, City of the Sun tells the story of a down on his luck reporter in 1941 Egypt and the woman he falls in love with. But not only is this novel a love story, it has espionage, a race against time between the Germans and the Americans and some of the most interesting and illuminating historical facts regarding Jews in Egypt.

Overall I liked the book. It had a good plot and Ms. Maio's prose was rich and descriptive. The focus of the novel was the search for the elusive scientist Eric Blumenthal with the romance between Mickey and Maya intertwined into the plot.

The relationship between the two protagonist is nothing spectacular and comes off half hearted. The espionage portion of the novel also was flat and not capitalized upon. There was never any buildup of tension and suspense. Where the author excelled was in her historical facts regarding Egyptian and Jewish relations, culture and daily life in Egypt as well as in the descriptions of Cairo itself (which evoked images of Casablanca!). I could not get enough of those sections.

If you pick this book up, read it for its' historical elements, that truly was the best part. ( )
  NancyNo5 | Sep 18, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I wanted to like this book, I really did. It has an intriguing premise and an exotic locale. Unfortunately, it suffers from the author's complete inability to write believable dialog or exposition without awkward infodumping. I was unable to persist past the first few chapters. ( )
  MuseofIre | May 21, 2014 |
City of the Sun
By Juliana Maio

When I started this book I was hooked. From a topic I knew little to nothing about, I was introduced to the story of a Jewish family fleeing from the Germans to Cairo, Egypt during WWII.
As a Historical Novel you will meet Sadat, Churchill, Nasser, Hassan elBanna the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood and the young King Farouk among others.
The main characters are a Jewish family that fled to Cairo under an assumed last name and are living with an Egyptian family on their way to Israel.
Erik, the brother, is a known scientist that both the Americans and German want for his bomb skills. Vati,, the father and Maya the sister are the family.
The American Newspaper reporter and repurposed as a spy, falls in love with Maya not knowing who she really is, the sister of the man he is looking for.
Everyone one will enjoy this book for the intrigue, love and history! ( )
  SallyRose | May 11, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 162634051X, Paperback)

Espionage, love, and power play upon the shifting sands of wartime Cairo

CAIRO, EGYPT 1941. As the Second World War rages, the city known as ''Paris on the Nile'' plays host to an international set who seem more interested in polo matches and swanky nightclubs than the Germans' unrelenting advance across North Africa. Meanwhile, as refugees, soldiers, and spies stream into the city, the Nazis conspire with the emerging Muslim Brotherhood to fuel the Egyptian people's seething resentment against their British overlords.

Ambitious American journalist Mickey Connolly has come to Cairo to report on the true state of the war. Facing expulsion by the British for not playing by their rules, he accepts a deal from the U.S. embassy that allows him to remain in the country. His covert mission: to infiltrate the city's thriving Jewish community and locate a refugee nuclear scientist who could be key to America's new weapons program. But Mickey is not the only one looking for the elusive scientist. A Nazi spy is also desperate to find him--and the race is on. Into this mix an enigmatic young woman appears, a refugee herself. Her fate becomes intertwined with Mickey's, giving rise to a story of passion, entangled commitments, and half-truths.

Deftly blending the romantic noir of the classic film Casablanca with a riveting, suspenseful narrative and vivid historical detail, City of the Sun offers a stunning portrayal of a time and place that was not only pivotal for the war, but also sowed much of the turbulence in today's Middle East.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:02 -0400)

Espionage, love, and power play upon the shifting sands of wartime Cairo.

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