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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Unusual, Unsettling and Absorbing Story
Isis is in her nineties and lives alone with her twin brother, Osiris, in their rambling family home called Little Egypt, a home they were born in and grew up in. Once a rather grand country house with a ballroom and an orangery and situated in its own grounds, Little Egypt is now very dilapidated and, due to the land around it being sold off to provide an income for the...
Published 4 months ago by Susie B

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not to my taste
Whilst I have to agree that this is a clever book, it is really not to my liking. Too gruesome for me.
Published 1 month ago by Helen Clancy


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Unusual, Unsettling and Absorbing Story, 31 Mar 2014
By 
Susie B - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Little Egypt (Salt Modern Fiction) (Kindle Edition)
Isis is in her nineties and lives alone with her twin brother, Osiris, in their rambling family home called Little Egypt, a home they were born in and grew up in. Once a rather grand country house with a ballroom and an orangery and situated in its own grounds, Little Egypt is now very dilapidated and, due to the land around it being sold off to provide an income for the twins, is surrounded by a dual carriageway, a railway line and a large superstore. Isis would like to leave and move to the Sunset Lodge rest home, but Osiris - who keeps to his rooms upstairs and has not spoken to Isis for ten years after she sold off another parcel of land - will not be moved from his home. And that is not the only reason that Isis cannot sell Little Egypt to developers - something terrible happened at Little Egypt more than seventy years before and Isis has lived in fear of discovery ever since. If she manages to sell the land without Osiris's consent, will their dreadful secret be revealed?

The story then moves back in time to the 1920s, where we meet the twins' parents, Evelyn and Arthur Spurling, who are Egyptologists and who spend all their time and money on long trips to Egypt in their quest to discover the tomb of Herihor. Neglectful of their children, the Spurlings leave the twins in the care of housekeeper, Mary, a kind but overworked young widow, who works tirelessly at Little Egypt, for the sake of the twins, whom she pities and has become very fond of. Eventually, Evelyn and Arthur send for the twins, and Evelyn's brother, Victor, an ex-soldier suffering from his experiences at the front, acts as escort to the thirteen-year-old twins. When they arrive in Egypt, nothing goes the way any of them planned, and Isis disappointed in her mother's cool reception, and confused by her feelings for a young Arab boy, finds herself involved in an incident that has long-lasting repercussions. Returning home, without their parents, Isis' and Osiris' lives are thrown into further turmoil when something terrible happens at Little Egypt that detrimentally affects the twins' lives forever, but obviously I must leave the details for prospective readers to discover for themselves - and there is a lot more to this story than I have revealed.

Moving backwards and forwards in time, Lesley Glaister's 'Little Egypt' is filled with eccentric characters and bizarre situations. Mary was a lovely character to read about and a great support to the twins; sad Uncle Victor was well-depicted, with his livid physical wartime injury, his debilitating mental war wounds and his need for women who were 'no better than they should be'. And of course there were the poor, affection-starved twins, whose strange, claustrophobic lifestyle was very well-described allowing the reader to see how, suffering from a lack of parental love and control, they committed an act that resulted in tragic, life-altering consequences. I should add that I would have liked to have learnt a little more about Evelyn and Arthur and their life in Egypt, and I would also liked to have read more about Rhoda Vandercamp, an American boat captain and a rather interesting character the twins met on their journey. Also, I do have to admit to finding the tragic incident which occurred shortly after the twins returned from their trip, rather gruesome and unsettling and very bizarre - but that said, I was gripped by the story from start to finish, finding it a perturbing, poignant and, in places, a darkly humorous read. Not one I would recommend for a cosy, bedtime read, but if you are looking for something unusual and strangely absorbing, then this could well fit the bill for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, moving and melancholic, 20 April 2014
This review is from: Little Egypt (Paperback)
I loved this book, I found it gripping, moving and beautifully written. Isis is a brilliant protagonist, awkward and eccentric; she retains a peculiar, touching innocence even in old age, and despite the disturbing events that scar her adolescence and bind her to her strange twin Osiris and their dysfunctional childhood home. Lesley Glaister is extremely good at depicting the fluctuating anxieties and ambiguities of growing up, and her tone skilfully balances dark humour and melancholy. I was completely absorbed, so I'll definitely be seeking out more of her novels.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another wonderful read from Lesley Glaister, 7 April 2014
This review is from: Little Egypt (Paperback)
I love this writer. You know you are in for a treat every time she writes and Little Egypt does not disappoint. Ms Glaister's ability to etch tantalising characters and environments into the readers mind is pure alchemy. Her descriptions of people, situations and life are astute, honest, and tender. Often described as a bit " dark" , I find her books full of life, often quirky and totally authentic. She unfailingly creates a page turner which Little Egypt undoubtedly is . I would urge you to read all books by Lesley Glaister.
Be Morris
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner, 5 April 2014
By 
RUTH RICHARDS (edinburgh, scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Little Egypt (Paperback)
I loved this book. Having read all of the authors other offerings, I was very much looking forward to this and I am in no way let down. It reminded me a little of Honour Thy Father, a book that had such an effect on me I still find myself thinking about those poor women sometimes! Little Egypt is about cause and effect and about wasted lives and suffering. Not a cheerfull read by any means, but I laughed and I cryed with poor Sisi for all the wonder and wierdness of the world we live in. Thanks to Ms Glaister for giving me a glimpse of Little Egypt, I for one will never forget it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great characters, 13 May 2014
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This review is from: Little Egypt (Salt Modern Fiction) (Kindle Edition)
This was the first Lesley Glaister book I have read and certainly will read more. This novel was just that - novel. A completely new storyline and memorable characters. Very offbeat but vivid characters, and loveable in their vulnerabillity. If you enjoy atmosphere, an interesting storyline, easy to read and with great characters you can't fail but to ease your way into the life of Isis and Osiris.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book Beautifully written and thoroughly absorbing It draws you ..., 7 July 2014
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This review is from: Little Egypt (Paperback)
A wonderful book
Beautifully written and thoroughly absorbing
It draws you in with the wonderful characters it will make you smile and make you cry
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming and creepy at the same time, 29 May 2014
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This review is from: Little Egypt (Salt Modern Fiction) (Kindle Edition)
If you identify with people on the outside of normal life; people on the fringe, you will love this story. An old brother and sister have a secret to hide in their crumbling house of previous grandure. Odd friends are made in unexpected places to move the plot along. I truly enjoyed this read and if you ever think about what your life looks like from the outside, this will be a good read for you too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Really Good Read, 29 May 2014
This review is from: Little Egypt (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this, good pacy writing, so well crafted that you don't notice just how well written it is, you just get on with the story. Lesley Glaister pulls of the trick of taking the the classic decaying country house scenerio, but makes it fresh and gritty bringing the story smack into the modern world. It's also properly creepy, without cliched feyness. Basically set yourself up with some good coffee and a packet of chocolate hobnobs and enjoy yourself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, extraordinary, 21 May 2014
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This review is from: Little Egypt (Paperback)
Lesley Glaister has written Little Egypt with even more than her usual verve and panache. And wicked sense of weirdness and - yes - horror (though if you are at all squeamish, and I certainly am, this horror is entirely cope-with-able).
Read it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 20 May 2014
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This review is from: Little Egypt (Salt Modern Fiction) (Kindle Edition)
Another triumph for the supremely talented Lesley Glaister. I've read all her books, and a new one is a treat to look forward to. Little Egypt was well worth the wait, as original and atmospheric as her previous books, with brilliantly developed characters, dealing with obsession, neglect and madness. I loved the descriptions of Egyptology, of which I knew nothing before, and the 1920s setting - described in flashbacks by the main character, Isis, now an old woman - was brought vividly to life. It's a macabre and deeply sinister tale in parts, and darkly humorous in others.

Hard to sum up in a way that will do the book justice, I can only recommend that you read it!
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