A debut romance featuring a seductive female protagonist reluctant to settle for just one man.
Hinaekian’s novel centers on Julia—a young artist raised in Cairo who has dreams of escaping old-fashioned Egyptian gender norms and living life as a free, liberated woman. Julia eventually finds a way out of Cairo alongside her first love, David. They marry and move to New York. Once she reaches America, however, she realizes she isn’t ready for commitment. She leaves David, moves to Geneva, and pursues self-discovery and desire. The book tracks Julia’s relationships with multiple men—Bernard, a French socialite; Jean Claude, a much older man; and Luis, a much younger man. Hinaekian presents a complex main character unclear about her own longings and impulses. Julia ruminates on her moral and emotional inner turmoil when she falls in love, and becomes intimate, with two men at the same time: “She questioned herself all the time as to why she was behaving in this way. She was stuck, that’s all….She knew she had to come to a decision one day, but she postponed it. It was always ‘I’ll think about it tomorrow.’ ” Ultimately, while Hinaekian’s novel stars entertaining and vibrant characters—particularly the protagonist—its strength lies in its hot sex scenes rather than its plot. Often, the book reads more like a catalog of Julia’s different relationships and conquests rather than a narrative with any logical storyline, but with love scenes this well-imagined, many won’t mind.
A tryst-y erotic novel with a scattered plot.