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DESIRING CAIRO

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Desiring Cairo
Louisa Young
Flamingo 2005

Desiring Cairo takes up Evangeline's story:
'When Hakkim ibn Ismail el Araby turned up on my doorstep, trailing clouds of chaos in his wake, I naturally assumed that the anonymous letters had something to do with him. Not that they were from him - like the rest of his family, the boy could haggle in ten languages and convert currencies to his own advantage quicker than I could find a calculator, but writing in English was not one of his accomplishments. No, I rather thought they might be to him.'

She still has the bad leg, the good heart and the child that doesn't belong to her; but she now likes her ex-boyfriend, knows her pyschotic admirer (and his wife) and is beginning to forgive her dead sister. As for her past - up from it pops a beautiful Egyptian boy who has lost his mother, trailing in his wake all kinds of chaos including his even more beautiful older brother, who leads Evangeline back to Cairo and Upper Egypt where her past, her future and her old enemy all need sorting out.

Desiring Cairo is a novel about love and fantasy, home and abroad, west London and the West Bank of the Nile, the nature of strength and the necessity of weakness, the love of children and the love of men, redemption and responsibility, the possibility of happiness and the risks inherent in being too affected by the colour of palm-tree fronds at dawn.

From the press:

'Disarmingly honest, sexy slangy and streetwise. The novel’s idiosyncratic blend of adventure, comedy and gritty realism is wonderfully punctuated by lyrically erudite meditations on subjects as diverse as the origin of the Dance of the Seven Veils, the qualities and colours of alabaster and the attributes of the ancient Egyptian gods. It is this unusual blend of realism and romance, of adventurousness and thoughtful honesty that make Evangeline so likeable and the novel so exhilarating, and genuinely serious.’
- The Sunday Times

'In Sa'id, Young has created the the most fascinating and seductive romantic hero in yonks. As well as being compelling and witty, desiring Cairo is immensely touching, leaving haunting traces across the reader's heart and mind. Majestic.' - The Big Issue

'A romantic hymn to the struggle of being independent... it is the compulsive quality of this writing which gives Louisa Young's books such wide appeal.' - The Times

From the readers:

'...a tale that is richer, sexier, more moving and just as exciting as the first....'

'I read and enjoyed Baby Love, and wasn't sure how it could be continued, but in fact there was much more depth in Desiring Cairo, following up the same themes but really doing them justice, while being funny and exciting too, just as Baby Love was. Angeline falls in love, and a lot of the book is set in Egypt, not just as a backdrop but as a real country. It said in the Sunday Times that this book was 'exhilarating and genuinely serious' - I couldn't see how a sequel to Baby Love could be serious at all but it is. I recommend it a lot.'

'I read a review of Desiring Cairo in which they said Louisa Young's talent lay in creating sexy believable but fundamentally decent men. Having read the whole of her trilogy I agree. Evangeline is a great stroppy heroine with none of the mushy self-doubt which ruins so many 'chick books'. As for her heroes. Sa'id is great as the unobtainable dream but it is Harry who sticks in the mind - louche, laidback and believable - I have to say I grew up in Shepherd's Bush and Acton and god I would have died for a man like him. Anyway read this for a good laugh, a great read and some occasionally serious fun.'

'The other two books are good but this one has something special. Its not a 'chick' book its an up-to-date equivalent to Jane Austen. Just read it. Trust me ok?'