I read Nadia’s Song by Soheir Khashoggi for the Diversity Rocks! Challenge.
Khashoggi moves back and forth on the timeline of Egyptian history, from the 1940s to the 1980s. Two story lines unfold while 50 years of Middle Eastern conflict play out in the background. This story was interesting to me, as I had not fully understood the reasons for turbulent current events.
Karima, a servant girl in 1940s Egypt, falls in love with her English employer’s son. Though the love story is doomed, Karima holds on to two treasures – a child, and her exquisite voice. Both bring her joy and sadness, as predicted by a midwife. Karima becomes a famous singer, adored by her country. Further in the story, Karima’s daughter lives a privileged life in Europe. She grapples with identity issues however, and makes certain discoveries that lead her to her lost past.
This was a fairly quick read and enjoyable. I liked the way Khashoggi started some of the chapters with what I considered an “update” on Egyptian events. This information placed the story in perspective for me, anchoring it in a certain point in time; I was able to relate historic events to those in the story.