06 September 2012

Excerpt Thursday: TWELVE ROOMS OF THE NILE by Enid Shomer

This week, we’re welcoming historical fiction author Enid Shomer, whose most recent title, TWELVE ROOMS OF THE NILE, reveals the lives of Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert as incidental travelers in 19th century EgyptOn Sunday, join us for a Q&A with Edith. Leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win one of THREE free copies of the book, available from the publisher Simon & Schuster. Here's the blurb:

“To speak the names of the dead is to make them live again.” –The Book of the Dead

There is no more apt way to introduce celebrated poet and short-story author Enid Shomer’s debut novel, The Twelve Rooms of the Nile. While Gustave Flaubert and Florence Nightingale really did both travel through Egypt before they became the luminaries known to history, only in Shomer’s richly envisioned world did their journeys come to a crossroads, and did their lives become intertwined and their souls deeply connected. Shomer supplements rigorous research with vivid imagination, so that by the end of this novel, it will be difficult to fathom how Flaubert and Nightingale became the people we remember them as today without this story having taken place.

Praise so far has been unanimous. In a starred review, Sarah Johnson of Booklist remarks, “[t]he superb characterizations, poignant observations on the Egyptian religion, and depictions of the land’s ethereal beauty—all perfectly interwoven—are rendered in memorable language that excites and enriches the mind.”

Gillian Gill, author of Nightingales, declares the book, “as brilliantly sensual as it is finely psychological… this novel is a tour de force of twenty-first century storytelling,” while The Midwife of Venice author Roberta Rich exclaims: “Every sentence, every paragraph shimmers with the color and heat of the Nile and the intelligence of the characters.”

Lovers of historical fiction, armchair travel to exotic places, simply, well-told and beautifully rendered storytelling should take note. Adventure, romance, wit and tenderness fill this poignant exploration into the lives and minds of two of history’s most treasured figures.