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Descripción de la editorial
It is August in Paris and budding art historian Khayyam should be having the time of her life - but even in the City of Lights she can't stop worrying about the mess she left back home in Chicago. Only when she meets a cute young Parisian - who happens to be a distant relative of the novelist Alexandre Dumas - do things start to get interesting, as she starts to unveil the story of a 19th century Muslim woman whose path may have intersected with Dumas, Eugène Delacroix and Lord Byron.
Two hundred years earlier in the Ottoman empire, Leila is the most favoured woman in the Pasha's harem. Her position is meant to be coveted; but she is struggling to survive as she fights to keep her true love hidden from her jealous captor.
Echoing across centuries, as Khayyam uncovers the scintillating truth of Leila's long-forgotten life, her own destiny is transformed forever.
When 17-year-old Khayyam Maquet (named after Persian poet Omar Khayyam) and university student Alexandre Dumas (named after the French writer, his ancestor), meet by apparent coincidence in Paris one August day, they discover they share a common goal: finding a connection between the 19th-century Dumas and painter Eug ne Delacroix. Visiting from Chicago, Khayyam, who is French, Indian, American, and Muslim, wants to jump-start her future as an art historian; Alexandre declares that he wants to preserve his family's legacy. Short, interspersed sections told by 19th-century Leila, the "enslaved harem girl" whom Khayyam believes the original Dumas loved, and who may have inspired both a poem by Byron and a painting by Delacroix, build a suspenseful secondary story line. The book's premise is promising, the Parisian setting enticing, and the dialogue sharply paced. In both scholarship and romance, Khayyam is consistently if somewhat overtly cued: she's focused on her professional future, her anger at the way women's stories are elided, and her drive to right that wrong. While the plot development can be hard to follow, punctuated by Khayyam's confusion about a love interest at home and her feelings for Alexandre, Ahmed's (Internment) story succeeds in exploring historical themes of prejudice and who tells whose stories while offering a multi-faceted blend of contemporary and historical intrigue. Ages 14 up.