In the Shadow of the Nile

Sara Hylton, Author St. Martin's Press $24.95 (426p) ISBN 978-0-312-11004-8
Only the most devoted Hylton ( The Last Reunion ) fans will find sustenance in this long, poorly plotted historical romance centering around a beautiful young Englishwoman ' s tragic affair with an Egyptian prince. It's 1922 when Laura Levison-Gore sails for Egypt with her sister and scheming mother, who plans to have Laura steal her cousin's intended husband, an English lord passing through Cairo, in order to insure the family's future social and financial position. But Laura's shipboard infatuation with English-bred Prince Ahmed Hassan Farag, returning to his native land to enter into an arranged marriage and take his place in Egypt's leadership, crimps those plans, which are completely destroyed when, after a passionate affair that leaves Laura pregnant, Ahmed is assassinated. Disowned by her family, Laura devotes herself to raising their daughter in Egypt. The death of another principal figure spins the story back to England, where it limps to an ending that hinges on the racism of Laura's snobbish family. Though Hylton's daring in killing off two of her main characters may be admirable, it's also misdirected. The narrative--already hampered by stereotyped characters--never regains the passion and momentum lost upon the prince's death, making this one trip down the Nile not worth taking. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
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