Cover Image: The Girls from Alexandria

The Girls from Alexandria

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Member Reviews

"The Girls from Alexandria is a deep dive into a complex past and a determined present. With an intriguing premise; a novel with an older protagonist and a trail that spans two timelines, it certainly keeps you guessing.  In contemporary London, Nadia is hospitalized and confused. Facing the prospect of a long-term care facility she must find her sister Simone who has been missing for 50 years to avoid the fate she is facing. Confused about the past and not sure how to begin her search, Nadia plunges in and begins to find out some truths about her past as well as the present.  It’s a dual time frame novel where Nadia features in both. The modern day where Nadia is in hospital, aged 70 and being ignored by the medics who were going through the motions of providing care. The other part of the novel started in the 1950s and went through to modern day covering Nadia’s childhood and then her married life in Alexandria and London. And whilst I loved her wry approach to life and way of coping with being ignored in modern day I also enjoyed reading about a completely different way of life in Alexandria. There were parts that made me sad and wary but there were also parts that made me smile. I have never thought about how strange some of the British everyday phrases seem to those who aren’t used to them. I felt that Nadia, Fouad, and their many friends took a lot of pleasure in using them.    This is a fascinating book about life in Alexandria from the 1950's and the people in Nadia's life. The younger Nadia living her life as it was, the older Nadia desperately trying to hang on to her memories. I liked how it moved from different timelines, watching her from a young child to coming of age. The impact on her when her sister just vanished. It turns into quite the page turner as the mystery is unraveled. Very moving and heartfelt.  All in all, The Girls From Alexandria was a beautiful fascinating novel that brilliantly drew on Cooper’s own personal experiences, that gave the novel such a wonderfully authentic feel.  Thank you to Agora Books publishing, the author and Net Galley for the free ARC copy.
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A good read. The timeline flits between dates, starting in 1950's Alexandria and Sheila's childhood. I clever use of Sheila being in the hospital and you not being really sure if her memory was failing her. Very enjoyable.
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Nadia finds herself abandoned in a London hospital. She is having trouble remembering many things but the one thing she is sure about is that she needs to find her sister, Simone before it’s too late.

The problem is, she has not seen or heard from her sister in fifty years and the people around her are convinced that no such person exists.

As her current situation becomes more dire, Nadia becomes more determined. She begins to reflect on her past and the time she spent growing up with her family in Alexandria.

This book appealed to me. It’s historical fiction but has a mystery weaving through it which meant I kept wanting to turn the page, losing track of time in the process.

Immediately, I was drawn into Nadia’s story. How does a woman who grew up in Alexandria end up alone in a London hospital? I needed to know and was very intrigued by the thought. There is a real sense of tension all the way through.

I very quickly felt empathy for Nadia. This book draws a spotlight on what it must be like for so many elderly people – a situation that makes me incredibly sad. I feel that many people can relate not only to this but also to Nadia’s relationship with her sister.

This book is told from Nadia’s point of view and jumps between the present and her past growing up in Alexandria. The description and setting is so vivid, has much detail and is so beautifully written, I could imagine myself there and could fully immerse myself into Nadia’s world.

Nadia at the beginning of the book is such an innocent child but even then, there are plot elements that elude to darker events. Carol Cooper is good at mixing these with lighter moments to make a believable story.

There is not much else I can say without giving things away. I really do hope you give this book a read. It’s a unique story focusing on love, life and the importance of family. I loved it.
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Quite slow to get in to, and a little confusing with the jump in timelines. Good premise and overall enjoyable!
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Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this book for an honest review.

Set primarily in Egypt, a story about families and secrets.  Jumped around a bit too much for me to give it a higher rating.
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Ugh, I finally finished this book. It took me forever to read because I kept falling asleep. It was boring to me but I kept reading because I liked the main character. She made me laugh, but as you can tell, I do not remember her name 

An old lady is in hospital and keeps telling everyone she has a sister. No one believes her. She has a friend and a nurse that try to help her.

This book was not what I excepted. When the main character remembered years there was no chronological order to the years. Also, I don't speak any other language but English, and this book had a lot of foreign words on it. I didn't know the meaning so some sentences made no sense to me.

Thanks to Netgalley for the Kindle Version of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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This book involves timelines which I felt at times jumped all over the place. I also found it hard to connect to the characters. I liked the book but I couldnt say I loved it. It took me a while to really get into the book.
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A love letter to Alexandria, recreating a way of life and an absorbing portrait of a moment in history. It's a slow book, with the childhood world of the protagonist unfolding with a compelling sense of life. The dislocation of memory, and the reality of being an elderly woman adrift in hospital was beautifully done. I wasn't really convinced by the 'lost sister' plot-line and got a bit irritated with it being inserted into everything. But, overall, a very enjoyable read.
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I was interested in this novel from summary description but on commencing the story, it was a slow start. I could not connect with the characters, although I enjoyed the descriptions of Egypt, atmospheric! This is a story of two young sisters, Nadia and Simone, in 1953 in Alexandria, Egypt into adulthood but not what I was expecting, I struggled. Other readers may find more enjoyment in this novel. than I did.
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Nadia and Simone live with their parents in Alexandria Egypt, spending their days at the beach and avoiding too much interaction with their obnoxious cousin Victor.  Cooper weaves a dreamlike picture of their family and the extended community of "outsiders" who emigrated from Syria over 100 years ago. Their family is Greek Orthodox in a largely Muslim world.  Some experiences with trusted people go awry.  There is also love and humor and tragedy spanning fifty-plus years. We learn everything about the sisters' childhood, Nadia's escapades, marriage, affairs, and her observations of those who touched her life through Nadia's present-day remembrances from a hospital bed in England.  She has suffered a seizure with unexplained origins. Her doctors are convinced she is "EMI" (elderly, mentally infirm)  not the least because she keeps talking about her sister Simone when staff is certain she has no sister.  Simone was lost to the family about fifty years ago.  She sent brief postcards, meant to get past censors, but no information about where she settled in England.  Nadia's increasingly frantic efforts to find Simone and avoid being placed in a nursing home form the contemporary part of the novel.  Nadia is widowed, has no children and one friend.  One nurse kindly shares an IPad with her and gives her ideas about how to conduct searches online for her sister.  Other nurses tend to her but see her as fanciful and agree they need her bed for someone else.  Throughout, Cooper covers a period of intense political and social/cultural change in Egypt in the 20th Century.  This was engaging from beginning to end, beautifully conceived and written.
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One of my favourite genres is Historical Fiction and this one did not disappoint.  It is a mystery, a story about ageing, about family and memories.  A woman struggling it the later years of her life, a story that goes from the past to the present.  

It is a book that gets into your heart and head as you deal with what can happen to the older generations as they loose a grip on what is happening around them.  It makes you think, what really happened to Simone (Nadia's sister) and why doesn't anyone believe Nadia?

A page-turner, a book with heart, a story that really could happen to anyone, a story that pulls at your heartstrings.

A great read, written well by a great author.
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Against the turbulent political background of Alex, two sisters find themselves living separate lives. The mystery of how this happened and what happened to her older sister is what torments the younger, now an old woman in a hospital bed, desperate to find information, and perhaps. closure on events which took place half a century ago. The cryptic messages on postcards and recollections of troubling and tragic endings add to the unanswered questions.
This story appears to be another tale of age related mental confusion, and the hospital staff, except one kind nurse, fail to take her seriously when she tries to find reasons for her decline in health.  It is quite telling that the doctors do not have the time or inclination to listen to her. She is in danger of being sent on to a facility for the elderly, with the troubling idea that she may not get out of it. 
The hospital need her bed, and they can’t find the reason for her illness, and so they want to move her on. This says a lot about our over stretched NHS and the needs of the masses against one confusing case. It is seen from the woman’s perspective, and although it sounds depressing it is full of lovely touches of life in a bygone era, in a city which is changed beyond recognition from a later visit she recalls.
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The Girls from Alexandria by Carol Copper was wonderful book about a 70 year old woman trying to find her sister after 50 years of not seeing her but no one believes that her sisters is real. Great story. I loved this book.
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The Girls from Alexandria is a coming of age story that highlights the special bond between sisters. Alternating from past to present, the novel takes one from the heat of multi-cultural Alexandria to an hospital room in London. I love that the past is not told in an orderly manner, we see the past as Nadia remembers it.
The novel was really immersive and it felt like I was right there with the girls. The mystery of Simone was also really interesting and I love the way Cooper handled it. I really liked this book.
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Nadia, a 70-year-old woman, finds herself in a London hospital, alone and searching fruitlessly for her sister Simone, whom she has had little contact with for 50 years. Through postcards and her memories, Nadia strives to find Simone. Evocative, with wonderful descriptions of her life in Alexandria, this is a well written historical novel, well worth the read.
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The Girls from Alexandria follows Nadia who is currently stuck in a hospital bed in London, desperately trying to find her sister who was last seen 50 years ago in Egypt. I was in two minds about how to review this book - I loved the chapters that focused on the sisters early life in Egypt. However, I found the present day extracts where Nadia is within the hospital detached and repetitive. I feel like this could of been done purposefully, to try and highlight how lost and alone she is feeling but it did get repetitive after a while!

Although the timeline jumped all over the place, I still found the story easy to follow and enjoyed the break up of present day as I find this part of the story quite slow. I feel like this would be a perfect read for someone who enjoys historical fiction as there was a lot of in-depth knowledge about both Alexandria and Egypt!

There are elements of the book which were very moving and heartfelt. This gave the story a lot of depth and I enjoyed reading about Nadia recollecting her memories and making sense of them - I did quite like Nadia’s character so it was nice to see that there was truth within her jumbled up thoughts. I wasn’t convinced of her sisters existence at first but as the book unfolded, it was great to see Nadia prove the doctors and people who were meant to be caring for her wrong.

Thank you to Netgalley and Agora books for the chance to read this for an honest review! I really enjoyed the historical nature of the book and the book kept me intrigued as I was interested in how the story was going to go - for that reason, I give this book 4 out of five stars.
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Nadia, 70 years old, is in an skilled nursing facility after a seizure.  As the medical staff try to figure out what is wrong with her, Nadia’s confused brain returns to two pole stars.  She wants to find the sister she hasn’t seen in fifty years, and she reminisces about her childhood in Alexandria.

The descriptions and stories of Egypt in the years between 1953 and the present are brilliant.  Carol Cooper spent her childhood in Alexandria, and her memories have illuminated Nadia’s.  

The present day story is equally finely detailed.  I’ve spent significant time in an SNF with a parent, and the description of the staff, the procedures, and the other patients are spot-on.  (While Nadia’s doctors are not paragons of medical care, they are realistic overworked clinicians!) 

I was engrossed in this novel from start to finish, and was sorry to emerge, although happy with the way that the loose ends of Nadia’s life were tied up.
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Firstly Thanks NetGalley, secondly can we talk about how beautiful this cover is, one of the reason why I requested this book.

The story goes about Nadia an elderly woman who lives in London who doesn't trust her mind, she wants to find her sister but everyone around her tries to dismiss her and tell her that she is being delusional but she starts to gets postal and those reignite some memories... and then the drama starts

Is a so damn good read.  I was hooked from the beginning to the end.  So recommended the characters, the story... THE END...

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A beautiful book. I definitely went into this book seeing the mindblowing cover. Its indeed a pleasure to read such new fiction from time to time. Thanks to the publisher and netgalley for this book.
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In contemporary London, Nadia is hospitalized and confused. Facing the prospect of a long-term care facility she must find her sister Simone who has been missing for 50 years to avoid the fate she is facing. Confused about the past and not sure how to begin her search, Nadia plunges in and begins to find out some truths about her past as well as the present.

Alternating between the present and the past of 20th Century Alexandria, this beautifully written novel, is an unusual coming of age story. Set against the sights, sounds and smells of Alexandria, Nadia’s story unfolds revealing long lost secrets and the difficulties of growing up amidst a culture that does not always value females.
A fascinating look into life in Alexandria and a different culture, written with beautiful prose. Cooper handles difficult subjects with care and sensitivity. This is a wonderful read for fans of historical fiction as well as women’s fiction.
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