She had been King Farouk's favorite dancer but, ultimately, she was just another woman to throw away, like that last piece of sweet that he could not eat but wanted nobody else to have... The King lived for his excesses: power, food, and women controlled his life, all of his senses... Until she became pregnant just about the same time that he was announcing his wedding. Of course, Farrah's news meant nothing to him and he used his "pimp" to ensure that she disappeared... But Farrah was somewhat street savvy and realized what would probably happen. Still, she was not willing to get rid of the baby as everyone advised...
By Warren Adler
The background historical facts of Egypt's politics during King Farouk's reign are all there in the latest novel by Warren Adler. However, Adler creates an enticing surrounding story not only how Farouk was involved in all of the criminal activities in his town, but how his lust for power, combined with his constant desire for sexual relationships, affected those he chose each evening...He came often to the establishment where Farrah danced, having taken many of the other dancers other nights. But after he had chosen Farrah, she became his favorite.
Adler chooses to present Farouk from the eyes of Farrah, who saw in him a lonely man, one who was searching for happiness. She provided him comfort and a semblance of love. Still, she was surprised and angered when he announced he was marrying to provide for an heir and her child was not considered! But there was another man who also loved Farrah--one she found to be disgusting. Farouk's pimp was much more...he had come in love and respect to serve the King, but was used as a loyal, but distant servant. So that when the King told him to "handle" Farrah, he did just that... Zakki had separated mother and child but did them no harm... at first...
Farrah returned to dancing and an American fell in love with her and took her home with him.
|"My baby," she said...|
"My baby, Isis," she repeated.
..."You have a sister, Osiris..."
His mother had told him she'd left the baby with the family Al-Hakim in the City of the Dead. "Come to my sanctuary..."
With his father's blessing, Si was soon on his way to Egypt... with only the one clue...Isis was left in the City of the Dead... Fortunately his mother had taught him her native language... And fortunately, he met a young boy who agreed to show him how to find the home of Al-Hakim...
But Si quickly began experiencing surprises... First his guide was a young girl... Second, his presence in Egypt was quickly known and spread until it reached the ears of Zakki. Third, he began to be followed everywhere he went...and soon there was death--as those to whom he talked were later murdered! Zakki, too, now had an obsession...one that was unspeakable and for which he now required revenge!
Adler's historical family drama soon evolves into an exciting, albeit a graphically violent, thriller that begins the chase of Zakki's hired guns after Si and his now sidekick and friend, Abdel. At the same time, readers learn the whole story of Farrah's time and terrible loss in Egypt...
Si is able to pay for information extracted after long searches to find the next step and soon is traveling the Nile visiting various sites along the way, including...
In the distant, he could see the flat cliffs, glowing reddish in the blazing sun. As they moved closer, the old tombs and temples defined themselves, like chipped jewels in a diadem of uncertain settings, the centerpiece of which was the beautiful and awesome three-tiered Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. Watching it as they came closer, it struck Si how arrogantly it had defied time. "A woman built that," he whispered to
Abdel, his lips brushing against her ear. She said nothing, although he sensed that she felt some flush of pride.
"There," Si whispered, surprised at his detailed recall, knowing that it had lain embedded in his subconscious..."Is Ay, Tutankhamun's successor, wearing the blue crown of the reigning Pharaoh, performing the open-the-mouth rite on the mummified boy king. And there...is Nut, mother of Osiris, who receives him as her son...
He wanted to shout for joy, to hear the sound of his voice echo in the tomb. "Don't you see," he cried, "The connection." He looked at her and held her close. "Of all of us. The endless river of blood. You and I. My mother. Isis." He felt the exhilaration, an epiphany. "From there to now is more than three thousand years. Don't you see? It is important to know that. The human link. Nothing dies. Nothing ever really dies." Perhaps, he thought, that's why he had come to prove that his mother had never died, a part of her was still planted in this land...
I was getting close to the end of the book and I hadn't a clue what was going to happen. I wanted a happy ending, but could I expect that given the trail of bodies that had fallen on the way? What I will tell you that is I was totally astonished! And yet, it made sense to me. I was relieved first, then ecstatic at the originality the author presents in his climatic ending.
Before I close, I want to mention that I had not read this author before. His literary style engulfed this reader, and I sank deeply into the story while I was also enjoying the historical tour of Egypt. It definitely is a multi-genre book that is both satisfying historically while presenting a staggering tale of lust, death and more in an awe-inspiring look at what we humans are capable of. While his The War of the Roses won him many accolades, I personally am thrilled to be among the first telling you about his latest--a book I would have chosen to read of all his novels!
Highly recommended for so many reasons!
Warren Adler is best known for The War of the Roses, his masterpiece fictionalization of a macabre divorce turned into the Golden Globe and BAFTA nominated dark comedy hit starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. In addition to the success of the stage adaptation of his iconic novel on the perils of divorce, Adler has optioned and sold film rights to more than a dozen of his novels and short stories to Hollywood and major television networks. Random Hearts (starring Harrison Ford and Kristen Scott Thomas), The Sunset Gang (starring Jerry Stiller, Uta Hagen, Harold Gould and Doris Roberts), Private Lies, Funny Boys, Madeline’s Miracles, Trans-Siberian Express and his Fiona Fitzgerald mystery series are only a few titles that have forever left Adler’s mark on contemporary American authorship from page to stage to screen. Learn more about Warren Adler at www.warrenadler.com.