Monday, June 9, 2014

City of the Sun by Juliana Maio

City of the Sun by Juliana Maio - 380 pages

In this novel, Maio brings to life 1941 Cairo.  Mickey Connolly is an American reporter attempting to bring the truth of how badly the war is going for the British back home.  However, he comes to the attention of William "Wild Bill" Donovan  and he is asked to locate a Jewish atomic scientist who fled Europe for Cairo.  Meanwhile, Maya is a displaced Jewess who had just entered Cairo with her family en route to Palestine.  A chance meeting in a crowded cafe, leads to Mickey and Maya meeting and a relationship begins. While all of this is ongoing, Mickey must evade a Nazi spy also seeking the scientist and the Nazi's under Rommel's command advance closer and closer to the "City of the Sun."

As the back cover mentions, the book evokes the aura of the movie Casablanca and shares several themes, including a forbidden love story, espionage, intrigue, and parties as the Germans advance.  The historical elements included were spot on to the non-fiction I have read, but Maio alters the timeline of several key events to fit the story and explains this well in the afterwards.

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