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The Girls from Alexandria by Carol Cooper

In my opinion...

An interesting and unusual novel. Its evocative language brings to life a world I knew nothing about.

Nadia is in hospital, and Carol Cooper is expert in her descriptions & the frustrations of an older person struggling with dementia. Her medical insight both here and in descriptions of Nadia's life as a younger woman are frequently uncomfortable. and unflinching when she also turns her attention to the medical profession

The story's timelines move between 'now' and a variety of dates in the past explaining Nadia's story. The descriptions immerse you in a different era, moving effortlessly between languages without seeming false, as happens in some novels.

The technique of using many dates is very effective in illustrating the difficulties of age with no-one listening to the older person , and Nadia seeming very confused- equally it does make it a little challenging for the reader to keep up too!

This is a slow burn of a novel, very different to anything I've read recently. There is a mystery, some major important issues are tackled, but the ending did leave me with a few questions, particularly with respect to Simone. I did enjoy it and was left feeling as though I had visited 20th century Alexandria- which is no bad thing at the moment!

Thank you Agora Books for my copy & inviting me on today's blog tour.

Want to know more?

Memories are fragile when you are seventy years old. I can’t afford to lose any more of them, not when remembering the past might help with the here and now.

Nadia needs help. Help getting out of her hospital bed. Help taking her pills. One thing she doesn’t need help with is remembering her sister. But she does need help finding her.

Alone and abandoned in a London hospital, 70-year-old Nadia is facing the rest of her life spent in a care home unless she can contact her sister Simone… who’s been missing for 50 years.

Despite being told she’s ‘confused’ and not quite understanding how wi-fi works, Nadia is determined to find Simone. So with only cryptic postcards and her own jumbled memories to go on, Nadia must race against her own fading faculties and find her sister before she herself is forgotten.

My rating...

A sunny, thought provoking 4 glasses


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