Jacques recreates a vanished world with remembered affection and amusing dialogue. Her novel depicts the turbulent last days of the Egyptian-Jewish community in Cairo, during the strange and ominous time between the collapse of the Egyptian monarchy and Nasser's rise to power. Its protagonists are Mona Castro, a half-grown girl, and her family, whose lives and destiny the author evokes in a series of scenes that are poignant and witty in turn. Mona's coming of age is marked by her youthful rebellion against her domineering mother, Becky; the illness of the family patriarch, Joucky; and her half-innocent dalliance with an older man, a lame refugee from eastern Europe. The surrounding ensemble of relatives, whose family gatherings attempt to cope with a history that will overwhelm them, shifts the focus from Mona's tale to a chronicle of a proud, doomed family.
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- ID: 9780841914476
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