The Rock of Tanios, which won the Prix Goncourt, is set in Christian and Druze communities in the Lebanese mountains at the time of Mehmet Ali's campaigns against the Ottomans (late 1830s). It is an interesting story in which events often occur as the result of issues specific to the community in which they take place rather than deriving from an outsider's assumption of a cross-cultural commonality of motivation and emotion. As with other books by Maalouf, this is an excellent read and often fascinating. The reconstruction of a community, its values and everyday life is highly skilled. Perhaps his best.