Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Books: Cairo Diary: an Egyptian Fable

Dr Justine Jenner arrives in Egypt with two objectives. She has to evaluate the schools for young girls run by an international philanthropic outfit. She also plans to research on Virgin Mary. Justine is half American and half Egyptian. She is running away from a protective father who is also an archaeologist like her. Based on the findings that the holy family had spent time in Egypt while hiding, she hopes to find more about Virgin Mary and her influence on Jesus. By establishing this link, she can add value to her research on how women were influential.

Dr. Linda Lambert is the author of book. She chooses a backdrop which is familiar to her but not known to many, the world and politics behind the field of archaeology. Luckily for the reader, she doesn't get too technical. The explanations and the conversations are easy to follow. But what lets down the reader is the narrative style. The book doesn't belong to any genre - drama, thriller or philosophy. This might sound good. But it is tricky to write a book that doesn't belong to any genre and still capture keep the reader hooked. The author also uses two timelines - the present represented by Justine and the past represented by Virgin Mary. These two timelines are interspersed. Normally, such a style should invoke suspense and intrigue. Unfortunately, the uninspired style of blending these two timelines make it very boring.

The book raises a lot of interesting questions about organized religion, people's belief, the image of the patron saints etc. These questions are fundamental and makes us think a lot about what is divinity and why are we perusing god. Sadly, this interesting part is relegated to a very few pages of at the end of the book. If only the author had planned better, this book could have been a gripping thriller. For now, it is just another book trying to be different from Da Vinci Code without getting anywhere! Avoid this book.

Tags: Books,Linda Lambert




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