Thank You very much to publisher – AmazonCrossing and NetGalley for the review copy.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release date: 01 June 2017
Price*:£ 8.99(GBP)/ $8.26 (USD)
Pages: ~ 448
My rating: 9/10
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Summed up in few words: Unhappy marriage, strong women, betrayal.
The description of the book: Independent-minded Sibylla Spencer feels trapped in nineteenth-century London, where her strong will and progressive views have rendered her unmarriageable. Still single at twenty-three, she is treated like a child and feels stifled in her controlling father’s house. When Benjamin Hopkins, an ambitious employee of her father’s trading company, shows an interest in her, she realises marriage is her only chance to escape. As Benjamin’s rising career whisks them both away to exotic Morocco, Sibylla is at last a citizen of the world, reveling in her newfound freedom by striking her first business deals, befriending locals…and falling in love for the first time with a charismatic and handsome Frenchman. But Benjamin’s lust for money and influence draws him into dark dealings, pulling him ever further from Sibylla and their two young sons. When he’s arrested on horrible charges, the fate of Sibylla’s family rests on her shoulders, as she must decide whether she’ll leave him to his fate or help him fight for his life.
How this book made me feel: This is a mesmerising story of 2 generation’s lives between London and Mogador, Morocco. The first part tells and incredible story of Sibylla, and her journey through life in new country with new beliefs and traditions. Also, her adjustment and fight for what life throws at her. Life doesn’t really spare her. The relationship with her husband lacks love and understanding, so when handsome acquaintance comes along and sweeps of her feet, she thinks, she finds her love again. But it would be too perfect, and let’s not forget, the plot of this story is happening in Morocco. The second part is more about Sibylla’s children and their way through life. Both parts are very well combined together and make an incredible story of adjustment, love, betrayal. The characters of this book are very diverse, and there is huge variety to choose from in this publication. I always admire strong women characters, who take charge in difficult situations. Sibylla is like that, strong, ambitious and she doesn’t give up easily.
I love reading about different countries and cultures, that’s why all the information about harems was very mesmerising and exotic to me. I loved to see, how women treated each other and their surrounding in Arab country in 19th century. The writing style used in this book was not very easy for me, as it’s written in quite refined and sophisticated manner. Even though it’s quite hard to read this type of writing for me, it gives me a great feeling of the spirit, which the novel should portray. I really loved that all the main characters views and feelings were taken into consideration, and expressed in the book; it was not the story just from one characters perspective. I was really pleased that every chapter had something happening. There were many twists and drama in the book, and it made it really appealing. However, there were few places where plot was quite predictable. The ending was really enjoyable and nicely concluded the story. To conclude, if you would like something exotic, educating, historical and very thorough going book, with strong characters and rebellious women, this is a must read for you.
About the Author: They are Julia and Horst Drosten. They live and write together using the pseudonym Julia Drosten. They live in the idyllic Muensterland in Germany and always wanted to write books. Research for their books is nearly as much fun. They flew in a historic biplane, watched work in a butcher’s shop or got pampered by a beautician. For their novel “Die schwarze Taube von Siwa” they travelled to Egypt and explored this fascinating land.
“Die Loewin von Mogador” (The Lioness of Morocco) was in June 2014 No. 1 of Amazon’s historic novels in Germany. This bestseller was be translated by Amazon Crossing for the Anglophone market. They love to write historic novels. Only their novel “Die Honigprinzessin” takes place in present time Berlin. In their spare time they read and watch films and TV series (Downton Abbey). Julia loves to do yoga and Horst is running regularly. He also is a very good cook.
*-the price was taken from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com at current date. Price might change at your time of purchase. The links used in this post for book purchases are affiliates. #30