Shomer provides fascinating insight in the Nightingale and Flaubert, and is no less dazzling in her descriptions of the culture, food, clothing and traditions of the different people and guides the parties encounter on their sojourn on the Nile. Each of her sentences is imbued with intellectualism, history, philosophy snappy repartee and fascinating historical tidbits. Shomer’s thorough research is stunning, and sometimes daunting even as she creates a plausible connection between Nightingale and Flaubert. My only complaint with this beautifully written and compelling debut is the intensity of the narrative, which felt overwhelmingly packed at times. Recommended.