The Map of Love: A Novel

The Map of Love: A Novel

by Ahdaf Soueif
4.3 9

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The Map of Love: A Novel by Ahdaf Soueif

Booker Prize Finalist

Here is an extraordinary cross-cultural love story that unfurls across Egypt, England, and the United States over the course of a century. Isabel Parkman, a divorced American journalist, has fallen in love with a gifted and difficult Egyptian-American conductor. Shadowing her romance is the courtship of her great-grandparents Anna and Sharif nearly one hundred years before.

In 1900 the recently widows Anna Winterbourne left England for Egypt, an outpost of the Empire roiling with political sentiment. She soon found herself enraptured by the real Egypt and in love with Sharif Pasha al-Baroudi, an Egyptian nationalist. When Isabel, in an attempt to discover the truth behind her heritage, reenacts Anna’s excursion to Egypt, the story of her great-grandparents unravels before her, revealing startling parallels for her own life.

Combining the romance and intricate narrative of a nineteenth-century novel with a very modern sense of culture and politics—both sexual and international—Ahdaf Soueif has created a thoroughly seductive and mesmerizing tale.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307783554
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/26/2011
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 295,639
File size: 676 KB

About the Author

Ahdaf Soueif is the author of two novels, In the Eye of the Sun and The Map of Love, which was short-listed for the Booker Prize in 1999; a story collection, I Think of You; and an essay collection, Mezzaterra: Notes from the Common Ground. She lives in Cairo, where she was born.

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The Map of Love 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Our book club discussed this book for hours. It helped Americans understand the tensions of the middle east. We agreed that more background knowledge would have made the novel more meaningful. And if you can say a book made you think beyond yourself, it is a definite read. We highly recommend it, but don't forget to read the glossary in the back first!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book somehow melts together so many of the questions about society and the individual. each page is powerful in itself, and every one keeps you going on to the next. soueif has great insight into her characters which is a skill i find lacking in most authors nowadays. soueif has done remarkably well. the map of love is not just about england and egypt; its about people and their lives.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is perhaps the worst book i have ever read. After every chapter i wondered why it was necessary. The book is broken into sub-books. The first book is unnecessary. This 500+ page 'novel' could easily have been 300, and still delivered the same meaning. The characters are interesting, however, trying to figure out which one your reading about it quite the challenge. The frequent time changes leave you lost, trying to figure out how it connects to the rest of the story. The author often digress from the plot, and fills pages with frivolous details that only add to the confusion. I must say the most frustrating aspect of the novel is the author writing style. Sentences are often interrupted with unless explanations, and some words just seem to be thrown in, lacking a purpose.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was initially intrigued by the love story and have to admit that the political and religious views overwhelmed me at times. But, I was very sad to see the story end and indeed have fallen in love with Sharif and Anna. What I would like to see is a sequel that focuses on the lives of Nur and Ahmad, maybe a movie even. The diary format intrigued me and I have to say that Amal was a large part of this story yet her name is not mentioned in the publisher's note. Without her, the story would be half-told. I was heart-broken in the end and wish that there were more to the story...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a bit hard to get into because of the frequent change of narrators. Once you fall into the pattern it is a beautifully written love story, almost fairy tale in quality. It would make a wonderful movie(in the genre of The English Patient); the political history would provide more than enough action. I will look for more that Ahdaf Soueif has written....her characters are exquisitely portrayed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ahdaf Soueif has really worked magic here. This novel is extraordinary in its scope. Ignore the publisher's synopsis of this book, as it really does not do the plot justice. The book is split between two time periods--turn of the century England and Egypt--and modern New York City and Egypt. The real strength of this novel is the relationship between Anna and Sharif Pasha Al-Baroudi. Soueif uses this relationship as an opportunity to discuss the different difficulties of inter-cultural relationships, and she also addresses really well the stereotypical fears that the Western world holds of Muslim Arab men. But don't let the presence of serious issues keep you from reading and enjoying this book. Even if you haven't the slightest interest in history or politics, this book has enough beauty and passion to keep you turning the pages. I couldn't stop reading it until I was finished.
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