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Before she became the nineteenth-century's heroine, before he had written a word of Madame Bovary, Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert traveled up the Nile at the same time. In reality, they never met. But in The Twelve Rooms of the Nile, they ignite a friendship marked by intelligence, humor, and a ravishing tenderness that will alter both their destinies. On the surface, Nightingale and Flaubert have little in common. She is a woman with radical ideas about society and God, naive in the ways of men. He is a notorious womanizer, involved with innumerable prostitutes. But both are at painful crossroads in their lives and burn with unfulfilled ambition. In Shomer's deft hands, the two unlikely soulmates come together to share their darkest torments and fervent hopes. Brimming with adventure and the sparkling sensibilities of the two travelers, this mesmerizing debut novel offers a luminous combination of gorgeous prose and wild imagination, all of it colored by the opulent tapestry of mid-nineteenth century Egypt.
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Revue de presse:
'The meeting in 1850 of Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert in Egypt, an unlikely but immensely satisfying confluence, is deftly imagined in this brilliant book' Susanna Moore
He was a notorious womaniser, consorted with countless prostitutes and was yet to write a word of Madame Bovary.
She would become the Lady of the Lamp, the heroic saviour of wounded Crimean War soldiers.
Both at painful crossroads in their lives, burning with unfulfilled ambition, Gustave Flaubert and Florence Nightingale made simultaneous voyages on the Nile. In reality they never met, but in the imaginative leap taken by award-winning author Enid Shomer, the two ignite a passionate friendship that will alter both their destinies. Together, and with a cast of unforgettable characters, real and imagined, these unlikely soul mates share their darkest torments and most fervent hopes.
Brimming with adventure and the sparkling sensibilities of the two travellers, this mesmerising novel offers gorgeous prose and wild imagination, coloured by the rich tapestry of nineteenth century Egypt, and brings to vivid life two of history's most captivating personalities.
'As brilliantly sensual as it is finely psychological, this novel is a tour de force of twenty-first-century storytelling' Gillian Gill, author of Nightingales
'Shomer's exquisite debut is an intellectual adventure through mid-nineteenth-century Egypt … The superb characterizations …and depictions of the land's ethereal beauty ... are rendered in memorable language that excites and enriches the mind' Booklist
'A tour de force of twenty-first century storytelling' Gillian Gill, author of Nightingales
'Immensely satisfying ... deftly imagined' Susanna Moore, author of The Big Girls
'The Twelve Rooms of the Nile promises ... heat and mud aplenty in an atmospheric imagining of the friendship that grew between Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert on their 1849 Nile journey' - Sunday Telegraph
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