About the Book:
Title: Song of the Nile
Author: Hannah Fielding
Page Length: 640
Publication Date: Feb. 14, 2020
Publisher: London Wall Publishing
Synopsis: Luxor, 1946. When young nurse Aida El Masri returns from war-torn London to her family’s estate in Egypt, she steels herself to face the challenges ahead.
Eight years have passed since her father, Ayoub, was framed for a crime he did not commit and died as a tragic result. Yet Aida has not forgotten, and now she wants revenge against the man she believes betrayed her father – his best friend, Kamel Pharaony.
Then Aida is reunited with Kamel’s son, the captivating surgeon Phares, who offers her marriage. In spite of herself, the secret passion Aida harboured for him as a young girl reignites. Still, how can she marry the son of the man who destroyed her father and brought shame on her family? Will coming home bring her love, or only danger and heartache?
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Song of the Nile is a sweeping historical romance that follows Aida as she returns home to Egypt to clear her fathers name. Accused of theft, Aida’s father, a renowned archeologist, dies before his name can be cleared. Sure of his innocence, Aida determines to find the person who set him up, and she’s positive that her father’s friend Kamel Pharaony had something to do with it. Unfortunately, Kamel is the father of the man Aida loves. As old feelings for Phares resurface, will Aida find out who betrayed her father? Will she give in to her feelings for Phares, a man she’s loved since childhood?
The vivid and detailed descriptions of the setting immerse you in 1946 Egypt. I found this really interesting, as I didn’t know much about post-World War II Egypt, and the author’s knowledge of the time is vast. Fielding’s rich and eloquent descriptions offer a deep and whole view of life in Egypt in the 40s. From the foliage to the clothing to the politics of the time, everything is described in such intricate detail. Religion, women’s rights, social issues, food, customs, and the lives of the upper class are carefully explored as Aida returns home for the first time in over a decade.
There’s more to life than the blind obedience to convention.
Aida is the type of person that people gravitate toward. A trained nurse who tended the wounded during the war, Aida is an intelligent and honorable woman with an independent spirit. She is fun and effervescent, full of life, and kind. She is also impulsive and a bit naïve, which gets her into trouble on more than one occasion. However, her intellect, quick wit, and charm often help her succeed in her endeavors. Though she is quite cosmopolitan, she is inexperienced in love, and she struggles with her feelings quite a bit throughout the novel.
Aida also has to navigate the conservative values of Egyptian society, and she continually feels the pressure of societal constraints and expectations. After living a much more independent life in London for the past eight years, returning to Egypt is a big adjustment. She no longer has the freedoms she has grown accustomed to, and it frustrates her that she is pressured to give up some of these freedoms. It’s a really interesting examination of different cultures and countries and how they treated women at the time.
Phares is more sure of his feelings, but he struggles to put them into words and often uses his charm and sarcasm to hide how he really feels. He is a many of honor, and he feels a strong sense of duty, especially to his father. It’s an interesting juxtaposition – Aida and Phares are both characters who long to be free but still love and embrace their ties to their family and country. Though they don’t see it, they are a well-matched pair. Both are generous and helpful, and both like to give back to the people and communities that shaped them.
Phares was like the soul of Egypt itself that coursed through her veins … she could run from him for a while but he would always draw her back to him.
The love story between Aida and Phares is equally frustrating and beautiful. Miscommunication, distrust, and fear stand in their way, as do Aida’s suspicions about Phares’s father, whom she thinks had a hand in setting up her father. Phares’s romantic past, a prince who invites Aida to visit his harem, and other people who don’t want Aida and Phares together also cause problems in their growing relationship. Throughout the story, Aida doubts Phares’s true intentions. She desperately wants to marry for love like her parents did, and she knows that she loves Phares, but his odd absences, his past, and his lack of communication make her question his sincerity. However, as Phares and Aida reconnect, their chemistry is palpable, and it only intensifies as the story progresses. I loved watching this pair slowly realize the depth of their feelings and work toward admitting them to each other. They are a couple with a lot of history, and though they are often in conflict, the depth of their feelings and the passion they have for each other is beautiful.
In addition to the romance, there’s an intriguing story about stolen and smuggled artifacts, which could relate to the demise of Aida’s father. This, as well as the lush descriptions of the setting and the messages about love, family, friendship, and honor, make for an immersive, informative, and entertaining read. I’m so thankful to Hannah Fielding for giving me a copy of Song of the Nile, and I think that readers who enjoy descriptive historical romance set in post-World War II Egypt will love this story.
- The descriptive and detailed setting.
- The love story.
If the death of her father had begun Aida’s passage to adulthood with a cruel jolt, the crucible of war completed it in a baptism of fire.
Without dreams, we reach nothing.
All the yesterdays are gone as though snuffed out like candles. A little of their smoke might linger to fog the mind and cloud the heart, but it is always better to look forward.
Why trouble trouble before it troubles you?
This is a great read for people who like historical romance!