Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know
It is August in Paris and budding art historian Khayyam should be having the time of her life – but even in the City of Lights she can’t stop worrying about the mess she left back home in Chicago. Only when she meets a cute young Parisian – who happens to be a distant relative of the novelist Alexandre Dumas – do things start to get interesting, as she starts to unveil the story of a 19th century Muslim woman whose path may have intersected with Dumas, Eugene Delacroix and Lord Byron.
Two hundred years earlier in the Ottoman empire, Leila is the most favoured woman in the Pasha’s harem. Her position is meant to be coveted; but she is struggling to survive as she fights to keep her true love hidden from her jealous captor.
Echoing across centuries, as Khayyam uncovers the scintillating truth of Leila’s long-forgotten life, her own destiny is transformed forever.
Ahmed pulls readers into a picturesque Parisian setting that brings the mellifluous language and customs to life, which makes a perfect backdrop for an art mystery . . . With a determination to give voice to a woman whose story has been erased from the pages of history, Ahmed offers yet another well-wrought and dynamic novel * Booklist * Ahmed explores weighty themes including Orientalism, women silenced by history, and the responsibility of sharing their unheard voices . . . An entertaining tale that will appeal most to fans of art history and literature * Kirkus Reviews * Rich, emotional and inspirational. Samira Ahmed does it again with a work of art that reads like an anthem for the voices silenced throughout history, and a call to raise our own. Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know is a deeply thought-provoking, immersive love story to the hidden histories that dwell within us-and like any good story, it will live in your heart for years to come Ahmed tackles weighty issues with thoughtfulness and flair. I was completely swept away Ahmed's brilliant novel shows that the familiar journey of being smart, in love, and a little lost is as profound now as it was in the 19th century. Add in a romance in the hidden gardens of Paris and an explosive trove of lost historical letters from a woman almost forgotten and you've got a fresh, thoughtful joyride that you'll want to read with every woman and girl you know The inventive Ahmed returns with a brilliant novel about race, history and choosing your own history * The i * A smart feminist holiday read, asking questions about whose voices are honoured by history * Guardian *
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