31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
A fine romance.,
This review is from: The Map of Love (Paperback)
If you love books which transport you to another world (in this case, at least two different worlds in two different time periods), which give you fascinating insights into other cultures, which incorporate a good deal of history into an exciting and completely developed story line, and which introduce you to a main character so charming and intelligent that you hate to have her disappear at the end of the novel, you will be thoroughly captivated by Map of Love.
Anna Winterbourne, an aristocratic young widow from England, travels to Egypt in the late 19th century during the height of British Empire. She notes the condescension towards the Egyptians and is intelligently critical of military "adventures" there and in other Arab states such as the Sudan, South Africa, and Palestine. As she comes to know the Egyptian people and falls in love with an Egyptian, the reader--along with Anna's granddaughter and great-granddaughter, who are reading the letters and diaries which reveal her story--learns much about the past history which has so complicated presentday relations between western and Arab countries.
Like most romances, this one requires you to accept a very high level of coincidence, but that is more than offset by fine descriptive writing, fully drawn characters, and the placing of a great many recent Middle Eastern events into their Arab contexts. This Egyptian author succeeds in presenting events from an Arab point of view to a western audience--a view that is culturally honest without being polemical. Mary Whipple