Read The Last Watchman of Old Cairo by Michael David Lukas Online

The Last Watchman of Old Cairo

In this spellbinding novel, a young man journeys from California to Cairo to unravel centuries-old family secrets.Joseph, a literature student at Berkeley, is the son of a Jewish mother and a Muslim father. One day, a mysterious package arrives on his doorstep, pulling him into a mesmerizing adventure to uncover the tangled history that binds the two sides of his family. For generations, the men of the al-Raqb family have served as watchmen of the storied Ibn Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo, built at the site where the infant Moses was taken from the Nile. Joseph learns of his ancestor Ali, a Muslim orphan who nearly a thousand years earlier was entrusted as the first watchman of the synagogue and became enchanted by its legendary--perhaps magical--Ezra Scroll. The story of Joseph's family is entwined with that of the British twin sisters Agnes and Margaret, who in 1897 depart their hallowed Cambridge halls on a mission to rescue sacred texts that have begun to disappear from the synagogue.The Last Watchman of Old Cairo is a moving page-turner of a novel from acclaimed storyteller Michael David Lukas. This tightly woven multigenerational tale illuminates the tensions that have torn communities apart and the unlikely forces--potent magic, forbidden love--that boldly attempt to bridge that divide.Praise for The Last Watchman of Old Cairo"A beautiful, richly textured novel, ambitious and delicately crafted, The Last Watchman of Old Cairo is both a coming-of-age story and a family history, a wide-ranging book about fathers and sons, religion, magic, love, and the essence of storytelling. This book is a joy."--Rabih Alameddine, author of the National Book Award finalist An Unnecessary Woman...

Title : The Last Watchman of Old Cairo
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ISBN : 9780399181160
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 pages
Url Type : Home » Download » The Last Watchman of Old Cairo

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The Last Watchman of Old Cairo Reviews

  • Merle

    What a wonderful plot of combining fact and fiction. We follow the true story of Agnes and Margaret, twin sisters who travel to Cairo to the benEzra Synagogue in 1879 after learning that the Geniza there has valuable, historical documents, letters and religious scrolls. They assist Solomon Schecter financially and also with actual packing up of the papers from this famous Geniza to bring back to Cambridge, England. Interwoven with this story is a tale of the last watchman of the synagogue. Going ...more

  • R

    charming, really enjoyed this

  • Melissa Dee

    I loved the mixing of old Egypt, colonial Egypt and modern Egypt, woven together like a tapestry. “A fragmented account of fathers and sons, cousins and strangers, grief, forgiveness and forbidden love. This lovely novel brings to life a family of guardians and their stories.

  • Carol

    Last Watchman of Cairo tells its story via three loosely related threads and timelines. In contemporaneous America, the Muslim Egyptian father of Joseph – the last watchman referenced in the title -- has died, and he has had a friend deliver to Joseph a keepsake without explanation. Joseph, raised exclusively by his Jewish Egyptian (by birth) mother in the US, had a cordial relationship with his father, at least until his father learned Joseph is gay. They didn’t have a falling out, but had comm ...more

  • Andrea Lee

    I really loved this book. Three time segments (1000AD, 1880’s, and 2000’s) offer much in the way of plot arc and a variety of characters that are all unique and interesting. The vocabulary is strong and the writing very readable but well formed. Kudos to learning new things, a challenging topic, and a fun read!

  • Lori

    "The Last Watchman of Old Cairo" was a captivating read. It follows a family who are the caretakers for a temple in Cairo!

  • Chaitra

    It took me an embarrassing amount of time to finish this book. It has a low page count and it's well spaced, so I have no excuse. It's adequate for what it is, and it started off promisingly, but I don't think it came together as well as it could have. The book is told in three different perspectives - two historical and one contemporary - and deals with a supposedly magical Torah written by the Prophet Ezra, which might or might not be hidden in an attic in an old synagogue in Cairo.

    It's not a
    ...more

  • Michael

    If I am not for myself who will be for me?