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DAHYA

French edition soon to be published

The characters in Maury Samuel’s novel Dahya come together in an epic romance spanning decades.

 

Dahya follows three major character arcs, beginning with Dahya herself, and then her daughter of the same name, and the younger Dahya’s best friend, Alexandra. These arcs focus on the great romances of each character’s life.

 

The romance and friendship between Dahya and Alexandra serve as the novel’s glue, holding the many narrative threads together. A fifty-year span ends in the Sahara, where all three stories come to a close in the same place that the novel begins. In between the bookends of the desert, the women live out the dramas of young romance, secret histories, murder, and conspiracies. All of this is set against the tumultuous and often violent history of World War Two and the French occupation of Algeria.

 

Characters are drawn with their own complex motivations and, despite penchants for melodrama, are each interesting in their own right. The relationship between Dahya and Alexandra, even though they are sometimes separated for years and fall in love with other people, is poignant and authentic.

 

There is also a strong emphasis on familial bonds and the ability of love to endure the heavy pressure of time. This is highlighted in the bond between the older and younger Dahya, a mother and daughter who were separated at birth. Conflicts between characters are rich and layered, and the romance narratives feel refreshing. The novel’s happy ending seems earned.

 

Dahya sweeping plot and intense characters, fueled by historical context, make Dahya a compelling romance.

The sweeping plot and intense characters, fueled by historical context, make Dahya a compelling romance.

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ForeWord Reviews

The sweeping plot and intense characters, fueled by historical context, make Dahya a compelling romance.