I had very mixed feelings about Yasmine El Rashidi's CHRONICLE OF A LAST SUMMER: A Novel of Egypt. The writing was evocative and I learned much about how a small child perceives the political landscape. She captures the confusion and heavy silences about her father's absence well. The family relationships come to life and I got a sense of what Egypt was like in 1984. Claustrophobic. Repressive.
However, I'd hoped that in Parts II and III, when the little girl is no longer little, but a young university student studying film, and then a writer examining the past, that we'd have more insight. Alas, the author continues to write observations (beautifully) without giving the historical context. I don't know much about Egyptian history so I had to study it to make sense of her book. Frankly, it felt like reading someone's thesis for a creative writing course.
I do thank Blogging for Books for a review copy. And am posting this on Amazon.