One Egyptian Summer

Iris Collier, Author Century $19.95 (218p) ISBN 978-0-7126-9407-0
A fine opportunity is lost when this first novel, rather than evoking the exotica, decay and grandeur that is Egypt, settles for an unlikely plot and a few place-names. We are asked to believe that Charlotte Peel, 35, career diplomat, Arabist, Cambridge graduate, described as both beautiful and plain, would give up her job for the sake of Hassan Khatib, an Egyptian womanizer, married and of doubtful repute. Broke, the world well lost for love, Charlotte returns home and awaits a signal from Hassan, which comes after a jewel and drug heist in London, requesting that she carry a sealed package back to Cairo. After one night with Hassan in his houseboat on the Nile, Charlotte realizes that she has been abandoned and must find a way to make a living. Her hand-to-mouth existence with an Egyptian family in the colorful Cairene bazaar leads her to join forces with Andreas, an itinerant artist whom she slowly learns to love. Despite a surfeit of repetitive detail, this is for readers who opt for the romantic and the picaresque, an apprehended villain and a heroine whose tears are wiped away. (August)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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