Chronicle of a Last Summer Book Cover Chronicle of a Last Summer
Yasmine El Rashidi
Tim Duggan Books
June 28, 2016
Blogging for Books
26/7 - 14/8 2016

A young Egyptian woman chronicles her personal and political coming of age in this debut novel. Cairo, 1984. A blisteringly hot summer. A young girl in a sprawling family house. Her days pass quietly: listening to a mother's phone conversations, looking at the Nile from a bedroom window, watching the three state-sanctioned TV stations with the volume off, daydreaming about other lives. Underlying this claustrophobic routine is mystery and loss. Relatives mutter darkly about the newly-appointed President Mubarak. Everyone talks with melancholy about the past. People disappear overnight. Her own father has left, too--why, or to where, no one will say. We meet her across three decades, from youth to adulthood: As a six-year old absorbing the world around her, filled with questions she can't ask; as a college student and aspiring filmmaker pre-occupied with love, language, and the repression that surrounds her; and then later, in the turbulent aftermath of Mubarak's overthrow, as a writer exploring her own past. Reunited with her father, she wonders about the silences that have marked and shaped her life. At once a mapping of a city in transformation and a story about the shifting realities and fates of a single Egyptian family, Yasmine El Rashidi's Chronicle of a Last Summer traces the fine line between survival and complicity, exploring the conscience of a generation raised in silence.

Read from July 26 to August 14, 2016

The book told the story of a young Woman’s life in Egypt between 1984 and 2014. Including the revolutions that occurred during this period.

I found the first 1/4 of Part 1: Summer 1984, Cairo of this book a bit slow going but I would say that this was because this is where most of the basis of the books story is developed.  With this being the case the way that it was written as continuous pros meant that it was very dense so could only read small chunks (a few pages) at a time. After I got past this position in the book I flew through it reading the remainder of the book over the course a couple of days.

The writing was easy to follow and very descriptive which meant that it drew you in, but there were times that the nature of the cotinuous prose style of the writing, not been broken on to chapters within the sections, meant that it was quite heavy going at times.

I found the book really interesting because I had never read a book about Egypt especially based on the political situation in the country in a given period (1984-2014).

The characters in the book were really well developed and multi faceted so were easy to connect with. I especially liked the main character and her relationships with the other characters were great, and it was interesting seeing how she dealt with all the relationships she had with each of the other characters.

The descriptions that the author gave of certain things in the book really made me feel like I was experiencing the things that she was describing. The plot development and world building in the book also supported this as well because they supported the descriptions that were given.

I only gave this book a 4 star rating because although I would both recommend it to others and buy it as a gift for anyone who I know who I think will enjoy it, I would warn them that they may find it a little slow going for the first 1/4 of part 1 of the book.

Disclaimer: I received this book through a book review site called Bloggingforbooks in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.