Thursday, November 23, 2006

Book 87: Reflections in the Nile

NUMBER: 87
TITLE: Reflections in the Nile
AUTHOR: Suzanne Frank
STARTED: November 19, 2006
FINISHED: November 23, 2006
PAGES: 528
GENRE: Romance

FIRST SENTENCE: There is a fissure in time - a channel through which, by certain combinations of astronomy, location, and identity, it is possible to leave the present.

SUMMARY: [From barnesandnoble.com] One moment Chloe Kingsley, a Dallas artist vacationing in Egypt, is standing in an inner room of the legendary temple at Karnak; the next she is caught up in a vortex of energy and hurled through the centuries. Suddenly she finds herself clothed in a diaphanous gown, covered in someone else's blood, and called RaEmhetepet, a priestess serving the cow-headed goddess HatHor. Chloe Kingsley has entered a world as filled with mystery and dark secrets as the shadows of approaching night. The year is 1452 B.C.E. The pharaoh is a woman. Almighty Hatshepsut is fighting her nephew Thutmosis III for her throne while building a secret tomb in the eastern desert. And Chloe is bit by bit discovering the shocking truths about the extraordinary woman whose body she inhabits and the Sisterhood that claims her complete obedience.

Along with Cheftu, a brilliant young physician sent to attend her and who slowly wins her trust, she faces treachery, treason, and an upheaval destined to change the future of humankind. From plagues that plunge a nation into chaos, culminating in a night of consummate terror in which the firstborn of Egypt will die, to the flight of a group of slaves into the desert, Chloe and Cheftu will face choices of morality and courage that will determine their destinies. Their inner journey is ageless, their ultimate goal universal - the quest of the human heart to find its true domain, a love that nothing can diminish, not armies, nor death, nor the endless unraveling of fate.

REASON FOR READING: It's been on my TBR list for quite some time.

THOUGHTS: When I first started this book, it felt confused, choppy, and rather unfinished in its story and dialog. But I was also reading it while watching copious amounts of Thanksgiving week football. In the end, I could not put this book down. Either the writing evened out, or my attention span did; whatever the cause, this book really hit the spot with me in the end - kind of like my mom's tasty orange glazed carrots.

What I enjoyed most about this book was its heroine, Chloe. Instead of going all weak and "Oh my god! I traveled back in time! They have no showers or GAP stores! AHHHHHH!", she rolled with the punches. The author, however, did put a legitimate amount of yearning to go back home, eat a hamburger, and take a bubble bath into the heroine, but she was never whiny. Chloe was real. She realized that her situation was probably irreversible and decided to just go with the flow. Sure she tried to find a way home, sure she missed her sister, but she was also strong as hell. She realized that, if this was her lot in life, she should not forget to live - so when Cheftu walked into her life, she decided, "What the heck, I'm attracted to him..." She even went so far to save his life in the desert. She fought to live, but was not superhuman. She was Chloe, a modern woman in Ancient Egypt, who is a dramatic and extremely compelling character.

Cheftu becomes Chloe's healer, mentor, friend, and lover. When he looks at Chloe he sees RaEm, a priestess he had a fling with as a child. Chloe has taken on RaEm's appearance and all her memories, save for the all important emotional ones. Thus, Chloe and Cheftu have a very dynamic relationship. He knows she is not RaEm, but he can't put his finger on it... until he looks inside. Their push and pull at the beginning of the book creates tension that, even when released with their shared secret, sizzles constantly.

Throw these two fantastic characters into Exodus Egypt and, hoh boy, is it a great read. History, romance, elements of fantasy and luscious, descriptive writing combine for a whirlwind of a novel that brings the past to life. We're talking the tastes, sounds, feelings, and general Egyptness of Egypt coming to life in your hands.

It thrilled me beyond reason to find out that this book was the first in a series.

Yippee!

MISCELLANEOUS: Egypt! I will get to you one day.

KEEP/SHARE/CRINGE(?): Keep... and probably buy a hardcover copy at some point.
RATING: 7/10 [Very Good]

CR: Light My Fire by Katie McAlister
RN: Come Back to Me by Josie Litton

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