"For many of us in the disconnected 21st century, it is time to speak about our heritage."
This memoir creates a whole world bridging memory and narrative. It has a sense of longevity, no so much in the number of years, but with the depth and range of felt experiences.
The writer is an artist who brings to the page an astute eye for the meaning of belonging and identity as she shifts between her many selves. There's a real sense of looking at people in the Middle Eastern world through the lens of her mixed ethnicity-Egyptian, British, Armenian. The sense of tension with her characters, particularly her roguish, bon-vivant father, who gambled away the family fortune, and her strong-willed, fashionable but secretive mother ever vigilant about neighbors gossiping as they lived in gentile poverty. Nevertheless, she maintained a sense of normalcy while railing in her "headstrong" daughter.
"The memoir finds humor in dark places like a childhood spent in trauma, cowering from overhead bombing raids during WWII, telling how entire families were able to find the resilience to survive constant danger. Following WWII, Peggy's fascination with American GIs stationed in Cairo sets her off on a life path. When the Suez Canal political upheaval after "Black Saturday" happens, it catapults her to leave Egypt.
"The author's coming of age story is composed of her education in a Catholic Girls' School, her sexual awakening, her first love, and her childhood daydreams of becoming a film star or a fashion designer that sets her on a journey through several countries: Canada, Switzerland and the U.S.A.
The narrative plays on the reader's question of 'what's next?' as the writer weaves her family story with compassion, finding inspiration in the 'showing' of ordinary people living their lives against an exotic and, often, foreign backdrop."
"Frances Roberts Reilly--poet, playwright, and memoirist".
"Perseverance and Panache are the Most Effective Tonics for Living a Spectacular LIfe!"
This story had me from the very beginning. The charm, wit, and transparent hutzpah are captivating and enchanting. The life and times beginning in WW II were fascinating. Never have I heard the likes such as the mix of international cultures intermingling so effortlessly.
The author's bravado and confidence permeate the story. Ms. Hinaekian has a style of writing that draws the reader in, wrapping its arms around you, confident that you will hang on and as fantastic as they are, believe every word. I did! I smile every time I think of this driven, ambitious 'devil-may-care' ingenue determined to conquer the world, leaving her home in Cairo and venturing out to Switzerland, France, Canada... Be prepared for a fun, fanciful, and inspiring read... Highly Suggest this book!
The Girl from Cairo by Author Peggy Hinaekian is an interesting and unique book.
The author has lived a fascinating life.
As Peggy shares her memoirs of a full life lived, it pays homage to her roots of being Armenian but born and raised in Cairo and the Egyptian culture in her parents' somewhat traditional ways. Her father, a gambler and tyrant, the family, lived in mostly poverty, and during the wartime of WWll, hearing bombs overhead and chaos, feeling scared and the trauma is not a normal childhood, as she begins to find her way through life. That was just the first few chapters.
Her story continues as a slow burn as it begins to hold you captive as you read, and you can't stop reading. The author moves you smoothly through her life and all she has lived through, a coming of age that takes place and spans several countries. I enjoyed her travels, careers, humor, writing style.
As I read, I was happy to see a woman with so much courage and audacity to shape and mold the life she knew she had always dreamed of. So inspiring. Just some of what you'll read within the pages of her memoirs. You'll also learn how she has accomplished almost all her goals while raising a family, had a husband or two or three, becoming a known national & international artist, writer, author, and so much more.
Who says an ordinary life can't be extraordinary and amazing to read? Women, in particular, will enjoy this book!
After reading, I felt amazingly empowered, inspired, and motivated by Peggy's life story as she overcame much adversity but it has been a life well lived thus far...
I Highly Recommend this Book to Everyone.