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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

A Review of

Tree of Pearls

by Louisa Young

 

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Summary

This is Book 3 in the Angeline Gower Trilogy of books, and is the sequel to Baby Love. The central character of all three books, Angeline, is a former belly dancer whose dance career was ended by a disabling accident.

In Tree of Pearls, Angeline finally puts to rest the ghosts of her past and reaches closure on the problems she was having with her love life.

Tree of Pearls

 

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Fact Sheet

Title

Tree of Pearls

Author

Louisa Young

ISBN

0-00-226169-3

Publisher

Flamingo

Category

Fictional Crime/Thriller

Rating

StarStarStarStar

Number of Pages

240

Published In

2000

 

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Description

This book is fiction, the third and final book in a trilogy that began with Baby Love and Desiring Cairo. The characters introduced in the first two books are back, moving forward with their intertwined fates. This one has the feel of being a finalé — it ties up many plot lines that the previous two books left open.

In the first book of the series, Baby Love, a former belly dancer named Angeline becomes entangled with a criminal named Eddie Bates when she enlists the help of a corrupt cop in avoiding a scandal that could threaten her family. In Desiring Cairo, Angeline gets a new man in her life, runs off to Egypt to collect some money that was willed to her, and confronts the stresses that diverse cultural backgrounds can put on a relationship. In Tree Of Pearls, Angeline returns to Egypt. She finally puts to rest the ghosts of her past and reaches closure on the problems she was having with her love life.

Tree of Pearls offers quick explanations of what occurred in the first two books for the benefit of readers who missed them. However, I wouldn't recommend reading Tree Of Pearls until after you've finished Baby Love and Desiring Cairo, in that order. It would be much more satisfying to get to know the characters and discover the plot twists in the order the author intended.

If I were raiting Tree of Pearls on the merits of the story alone, I would probably have given it only 3 stars. It was entertaining to read, but not compelling enough to stay with me for a long time. However, I gave it a fourth star because its portrayal of Egypt offers some useful cultural insights for people who are just getting acquainted with the Middle East. If you already know a lot about Egypt, this book probably won't offer you anything new. But if you're just starting to learn about Egypt, this book provides some appealing background information to help you begin your discovery.

 

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Is It Right for You?

 

You Will Probably Enjoy This Book If...

  • You're looking for light reading that you can relax with.
  • You enjoyed Desiring Cairo and want to see how the story lines wrap up.
  • You would enjoy a plot that takes place in Egypt for part of the story and makes some cultural references.
  • You enjoy the genre of crime thrillers.

 

This Book Probably Isn't Right for You If...

  • You haven't yet read the first two books in the trilogy.
  • You dislike story lines that contain predictable elements.

 

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What I Liked, What I Didn't

 

What I Liked:

  • The book is definitely entertaining. It contains many of the elements of appealing fiction: an exotic locale (Egypt), a sassy style of narrative, a dash of danger, and some romance.
  • The characters are developed well enough to make me care what happens to them.
  • The book makes many references to Middle Eastern culture which may appeal to readers who enjoy learning about that part of the world. For example, it takes place in Egypt during Ramadan (the sacred month of fasting for Muslims), and makes many accurate references to how Ramadan is observed.
  • The book ends with a comfortable sense of feeling as if the story has reached its natural conclusion. The various plot lines opened by the first two books in the trilogy are reasonably well resolved by the end of Tree Of Pearls.

 

What I Didn't Like:

  • As with the earlier two books, the references to Middle Eastern culture don't always fit seamlessly into the story. However, in Tree Of Pearls the author is definitely more skillful than she was in the earlier two. The references didn't jar me out of the flow of the plot as abruptly as the ones in the first two books did.

 

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Conclusion

Read Baby Love and Desiring Cairo first. If you enjoy both of those, then you'll want to read Tree Of Pearls to find out what happens to all the characters.

If you didn't care for Baby Love or Desiring Cairo, I expect you won't enjoy Tree Of Pearls either. It's written in the same style, and explores the further adventures of the same characters

 

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Related Books

Tree of Pearls is Book 3 in the Angeline Gower trilogy. The others include:

  • Baby Love. Book 1. Angeline protects the child she is raising as a single parent from the child's biological father when he surfaces to demand custody. In the process, Angeline learns about secrets from her past that are still haunting her life today.
  • Desiring Cairo. Book 2. This is the sequel to Baby Love. It explores what happens when people from widely different cultural backgrounds find love, with complications thrown in by the assorted characters from the first book.

 

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Disclosures

There is nothing to disclose. I have never had any contact with anyone associated with this book.

 

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To Buy It

I bought my copy through the United Kingdom version of Amazon. It was originaly published in the UK, and for a long time was not available through US-based sources. However, I see it's now available in the US as well.


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