Thursday, September 19, 2019

Dear Great Book Guru, This weekend I am going the Sea Cliff Civic Association’s annual Newcomers Welcoming Party. I can’t wait to meet the other forty or so new families that have moved to Sea Cliff over the last year. A friend suggested I read a book I might want to bring up if things get quiet- what do you think? Eager but Nervous Newcomer

Dear Eager Newcomer, No need to be nervous - this party is always so, so much fun! But I do have a fine book to recommend this week: A PURE HEART by Rajia Hassib. Set in the present time here and in Egypt, this novel tells the tale of two sisters and the conflicts faced by them as they try to live moral lives in an ancient and changing world.  Rose is a curator of Egyptian antiquities at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and married to a New York Times correspondent she met in Cairo. Gameela is her younger sister - a twenty-eight-year-old engineer living with her parents in an affluent section of Cairo.  Rose struggles with guilt and grief at having left her homeland but is delighted with her new life in America. Gameela has become very religious and scorns her sister’s new life. As the story opens, we learn that Gameela has died in a terrorist attack. When Rose returns home to learn what motivated her sister, she uncovers a bevy of secrets that haunt the family and the reader. Highly recommended!

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