Customer Reviews for

The Twelve Rooms of the Nile

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2012

    Well-written insight into the still-forming mindsets of two historic figures.

    Gustave Flaubert and Florence Nightengale journey through Egypt in 1850 -- did they actually ever meet, probably not. The book is an engaging and indepth look into the early lives of these two soon-to-be famous individuals based on a chance meeting between the two that results in a developing friendship which affects the future known lives of each . Both carry monumental "baggage," but through their intertwined lives and blooming "friendship" and ultimate loss both find a foundation to develop into the influential people they beome.

    The depth of the background information and the weaving of the information into the characters' motivations, desires, beliefs and goals was outstanding. The reader feels empathy and understanding for every episode in the earlier lives of the characters. Ultimately, you feel you have read their diaries and truly understand them, the people they are at the time, and the people we know they become.

    FYI, Flaubert was quite the whore-frequenter and full information on his habits is included, but not beyond that which sets up the relationship between him and Florence.

    The Egyptian trip that is the background story is also largely accurate. Photographer Max DuCamp is Flaubert's companion and the images of Egyptian temples, especially Abu Simbel, as they existed in 1850 is historic and literally an Egyptologist's dream experience. The descriptions of Egyptian life and historical sites and the "adventures" of the characters are great insight to life in Egypt at the time.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 2, 2012

    Extraordinary debut novel with gorgeous writing

    I was swept away by this tale of the fictional meeting of Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert as they traveled through Egypt in 1850. He was the libertine who would go on to write Madame Bovary, and she was the virginal spinster who would later become famous as the woman who revolutionized nursing in the Crimean War. Shomer imagines that their paths crossed (apparently they really WERE in Egypt at the same time) and that these lonely geniuses were drawn together in a way that changed both of them and helped them develop into the historical figures we know today. The book is funny, sexy, and has beautiful imagery that really pulls you in to the Egypt of 1850, at a time when few Europeans dared travel there. Highly recommended!!!!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2012

    This book isn't just for the reader of historical fiction, it is

    This book isn't just for the reader of historical fiction, it is for anyone who loves good writing and beautiful places. The setting is great and imagined in great detail. Shomer did her homework. But the best part is the differneces s and the tension betweent the two main characters, Flaubert and Nightingale. They are so different from each other and so natural together in this imagined meeting. I was fasinated when they were together. A very good portrayal of where the relations between men and women were at that time (Mid 1800s). This is a good read. Thoughtful, intelligent and, at times funny and bawdy. Highly recommended!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Ancient Egypt is the backdrop for this imaginative novel about t

    Ancient Egypt is the backdrop for this imaginative novel about two famous people, Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert, author of Madame Bovary, who accidently meet and form a bond while travelling through this ancient country.

    The first thing that draws the reader are the lush, beautifully written descriptions of the majestic city of Egypt with the flowing Nile river, its ancient tombs, hidden artefacts, and spectacular views. The author describes the characters’ surroundings with such vividness, that it is easy to picture all the sights and feels as if one can place themselves in the actual locations.

    The characters contrast each other, providing interest as the story unfolds. First there is the virtuous Florence Nightingale, a woman with a keen interest in learning, reading, who is eager to escape the restrictions of her family and society. Flaubert is depicted as a lustful, regularly immoral womanizer, Gustave Flaubert.

    The novel drills deep into each character’s thoughts, their past histories, their feelings in a rich examination of the human spirit and human individuality. There is humor, sadness, and the mystery of ancient Egypt’s artefacts, weaved into each page. This book is recommended for readers who prefer beautiful prose and rich detail, rather than those who are looking for a quick, spirited read. It is very much about a few moments in time where two very different people find friendship and something in common, but which never altered their lives.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2012

    Time Travel (Or the next best thing): The Twelve Rooms of the Ni

    Time Travel (Or the next best thing): The Twelve Rooms of the Nile
    Enid Shomer is a Poet who wrote her first Novel. I begin this way to convey how perfectly and eloquently each line in this beautiful book is crafted! She must have done such extensive research to seemingly effortlessly transport the reader back to 19th century Egypt, and to depict all the social idiosyncrasies of living in the late 1800’s! Thank you Ms. Shomer for rendering a look at such an interesting time period! And for giving me a glimpse at what life with these two gifted minds must have been like!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2013

    Gorgeously written, fascinating story and backgrounds. Well wort

    Gorgeously written, fascinating story and backgrounds. Well worth reading even if a little too long.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2013

    Interesting Idea Falls Flat

    This was a book group selection, so not my choice. That said, it seemed like an interesting idea, and was, for about the first 200 pages. Then it started to feel long, and what is really some beautiful writing was (in our book group's unanimous opinion) sullied by the author's endless portrayal of Gustave Flaubert's overactive libido. And that's the PC characterization. While it may by historically accurate, none of us wanted to read page after page describing Flaubert's obsession with femaale genitalia. The two stars are for the overall concept, which is good, and the author's painterly descriptions of Egypt, which are lovely. Otherwise, you might be better entertained elsewhere.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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