Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Review: The Twelve Rooms of the Nile - Enid Shomer


Before she became the nineteenth-century’s heroine, before he had written a word of Madame Bovary, Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert traveled up the Nile at the same time. In reality, they never met. But in award-winning author Enid Shomer’s The Twelve Rooms of the Nile, they ignite a friendship marked by intelligence, humor, and a ravishing tenderness that will alter both their destinies.

On the surface, Nightingale and Flaubert have little in common. She is a woman with radical ideas about society and God, naive in the ways of men. He is a notorious womanizer, involved with innumerable prostitutes. But both are at painful crossroads in their lives and burn with unfulfilled ambition. In Enid Shomer’s deft hands, the two unlikely soulmates come together to share their darkest torments and fervent hopes. Brimming with adventure and the sparkling sensibilities of the two travelers, this mesmerizing debut novel offers a luminous combination of gorgeous prose and wild imagination, all of it colored by the opulent tapestry of mid-nineteenth century Egypt.

My thoughts:
This is not an easy book to review. There is a lot of talking, thinking within it. Just living life. A flow of words, excellent writing and just a look into the souls of two famous individuals. 

Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert did travel the Nile at the same time, but no they did not meet. This is a what if book, what if they had met. Become friends and what else.

Two intelligent people who crave more meet, become friends and confidantes. Flaubert wants to write a novel, but is having problems with it. He does not want to marry and he loves his prostitutes. 

Florence wants something more from life. Not the drudgery of marriage, being shackled and not being able to do more. What that more is she does not yet know. She wants to find her calling, the calling God has promised her. Their friendship is raw somehow, they share, they talk. But they also wish and that is not the path they should take.

What to say really. Shomer has a way with words, even if not much happen, and even when things to happen. Well things just are. There is something sobering over this novel. 

They travel Egypt, together, apart. And maybe in the end they find their calling.

Conclusion:
It's not a book you race through, you take your time, and wonder. I did like her style.

Genre: Historical fiction
Pages: 464
Published: August 21st 2012 from Simon & Schuster
Source: For review

41 comments:

  1. Sometimes I'm in the perfect mood for a book you need to read slowly to appreciate everything that happens, rather than frantically turning the pages just to reach the end:) Sounds like an interesting read, I love "what if" stories:)

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    1. Yes, it's not that OMG what will happen? Cos in the end I already know what will happen. She changed their lives during this trip, but the rest must stay the same

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  2. This sounds interesting and I like the possibility of "what if" Great review.

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    1. What if's is something I adore..Austen and all that ;)

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  3. This one sounds interesting to me, given that both Nightingale and Flaubert intrigue me.

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    1. I do know about Nightingale, but I really want to read more about her

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  4. I had to do some googling about Flaubert lol. Not sure this is for me if there's much talking and thinking.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I only know that one book ;)

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  5. I love the sound of this one, and they are two fascinating individuals.

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    1. That they are :) Make that were ;)

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  6. I do enjoy these what if type of stories. This one sounds sweet. Lovely cover too.

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  7. I do love books that take risks, but I'm just not sure on this one...

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    1. It is, well you have to appreciate literary fiction where nothing major happens

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  8. Sometimes I do like to take my time with a novel even though lately it doesn't seem that way. Those type are hard to review (as I found out recently). Still, this one I may enjoy.

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    1. So very hard. Not that the fast and light ones are easy in the end either

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  9. it does sound interesting, thanks for the review!

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  10. Ah, I do enjoy the 'what-if' novels. What did you think of the cover?

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    1. I like it. But then sometimes with historical fiction, less is more

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  11. Replies
    1. Two days left and then weeeeekend

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    2. I'm not sure I'll make it...

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  12. I have this on my wish list. Intriguing setting and premise.

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    Replies
    1. It was sure different and it worked so well

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  13. Sounds like a heavy weighted book there. But good. :) Thank you.

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    1. I need something heavy among all the light ones :)

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  14. With the way that my reading has been going for me lately, this isn't the right book for me right now, however, I do believe that at some point I could enjoy it!

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    1. I hope you can get out of your slump :(

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  15. IIt sounds like an intense book, I didn't know this one but I'm intrigued.

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  16. Oooooooooh lovely! I want the book and I want to travel the Nile. A perfect combination: reading the book while travelling the Nile!

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    1. Yes let's travel the Nile and you can read it :D

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  17. I have this one on my shelf to read. It's a pretty big one to tackle. I'm in a bit of a reading slump so I have the feeling I should hold off a bit until I feel like sinking into something that I need to take my time with.

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    1. Oh no, not you too, bad bad slumps! They are so evil

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  18. I definitely thought Flaubert lived WAY before Florence Nightingale. Eek, clearly I have a bizarre history of literature in my head.

    In either case, I think these two would have AWESOME conversations!

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    1. Nope :) To think, they might have caught a glimpse of each other.

      So for that I liked this story, what if

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  19. I'd love to read more about Florence Nightingale and I don't mind slower if the writing sweeps you away??

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    1. Slow can be good, I just read a slow book that was awesome. it had to be slow, it had to show it like that

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  20. I get in a mood for books like these sometimes. Ones where I can read and reflect and think but not think too hard. Lol. These kind of books are hard to find when you want them so I'm going to add this to my list so it will be handy when I want it.

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    1. That is true, they can be very hard to find. Instead they just fall into my lap. I see one at the library and take a chance

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