I found this book by accident and picked it up simply on account of the picture of the pyramids and the 19th century clothing of the two characters featured. I am reading everything I can find about the history of the Middle East (and now Africa) in order to understand all the ramifications of colonialism.
The author's writing style is very fluid and she tells a great story about family dynamics set in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She also makes wonderful use of extensive historical research into the politics and sociological trends of the period, so one can learn much without really trying. Perhaps the clincher for me is the evenhandedness with which each major character is treated, becoming aware of their own failings and struggling to enhance their strengths. Thus we avoid the one-dimensional traps of the wicked mother-in-law, the lonely spinster sister, the thwarted husband, etc. Life is so much complicated and Thorne captures these nuances in a very entertaining and thoughtful manner.
I wonder if subsequent parts of this trilogy are as strong? The reviews do not seem as positive as I might have hoped.Never Such Innocence