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Saturday, April 11, 2015

City of the Sun by Juliana Maio

Book Description
Espionage, love, and power play upon the shifting sands of wartime Cairo

CAIRO, EGYPT 1941. As the Second World War rages, the city known as Paris on the Nileplays host to an international set who seem more interested in polo matches and swanky nightclubs than the Germansunrelenting advance across North Africa. Meanwhile, as refugees, soldiers, and spies stream into the city, the Nazis conspire with the emerging Muslim Brotherhood to fuel the Egyptian peoples seething resentment against their British overlords.

Ambitious American journalist Mickey Connolly has come to Cairo to report on the true state of the war. Facing expulsion by the British for not playing by their rules, he accepts a deal from the U.S. embassy that allows him to remain in the country. His covert mission: to infiltrate the citys thriving Jewish community and locate a refugee nuclear scientist who could be key to Americas new weapons program. But Mickey is not the only one looking for the elusive scientist. A Nazi spy is also desperate to find himand the race is on. Into this mix an enigmatic young woman appears, a refugee herself. Her fate becomes intertwined with Mickeys, giving rise to a story of passion, entangled commitments, and half-truths.

Deftly blending the romantic noir of the classic film Casablanca with a riveting, suspenseful narrative and vivid historical detail, City of the Sun offers a stunning portrayal of a time and place that was not only pivotal for the war, but also sowed much of the turbulence in todays Middle East.

About Author

Juliana Maio was born in Egypt but expelled from the country with her family during the Suez Crisis. She was raised in France and completed her higher education in the United States, receiving her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and her Juris Doctor degree from UC Hastings.
Juliana practices entertainment law in Los Angeles and has represented internationally renowned filmmakers as well as a host of independent production companies. Prior to that she served as vice president of worldwide corporate and business affairs for Triumph Films, a joint venture between Columbia Pictures and Gaumont Films.
Juliana co-founded Lighthouse Productions, an independent film and television company. She has spoken both domestically and abroad about the Arab Spring. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, film producer Michael Phillips. They have a daughter.

Juliana Maio - Interview with the Jewish Channel


As Publishers Weekly exclaims that the setting of CITY OF THE SUN, 1941 Cairo, offers “A vivid setting for Maio’s debut… The many historical figures lend authenticity… [in] this satisfying exploration of a key time in western and Middle Eastern relations.” 

“Juliana Maio’s City of the Sun is a stunning work of historical fiction, capturing the romance, intrigue and danger of Cairo in 1941. Against the backdrop of an increasingly threatened Jewish community in Egypt and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood—yes, the same one that keeps coming back to haunt that country—Maio magically transforms an almost genteel love story into a heart-stopping thriller.”
–Andrew Nagorski, former Newsweek foreign correspondent and senior editor, and author of Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power

Book Readers Review
Paris on the Nile, Egypt, World War II, Espionage, Jewish refugees, love, are some of the elements of this incredible story.  Readers who appreciate historical fiction, will love Juliana Maio's City of the Sun.  Juliana brings to life WWII set in Egypt. The novel is rich with historical figures and details of the Second World War. Nazi conspiracy with the Muslim Brotherhood adds to the Egyptian peoples resentment against the occupying British.  The Americans are on the edge of being thrown out of Cairo by the British.  Intrigue and romance are intertwined resulting in a suspenseful and passionate book.

It is not necessary to say more about the story.  The book description says it all.  I like the author's ability to combine historical events and imagination to culminate in an intriguing tale.  Maio has developed characters that are believable and grow stronger as the book progresses.  Her connection with Egypt and passion is evident in her writing. Juliana has done a remarkable job of capturing the essence of a key time in western and Middle Eastern relations. I absolutely recommend this book!  I received a copy from NetGalley in return for an unbiased opinion.  Thank you NetGalley and Juliana.