Mary Doria Russell first came across my radar with her book The Sparrow.

It was one of those Margaret Atwood type books that was totally science fiction (spaceship to meet aliens) but was marketed for the mainstream audience.

And wow. That book is…intense. Political intense. Religious intense. Trauma, life-shattering intense.

I didn’t know what to think when I came away from that book, but inside me I felt things no longer quite settled so firmly into place.

So I thought I’d try one of her “true” mainstream books. Dreamers of the Day is about an Ohio school teacher (Mary Doria Russell lives in Cleveland, so BONUS references to Euclid and Cuyahoga river abound) who finds herself in Cairo as Winston Churchill and Lawrence of Arabia figure out the political landscape of the modern Middle East.

But its not about that. And its not about Agnes and her middle aged romance really. It’s more about the flavor of those times, the feeling of that historical period.

It was quite frankly nostalgic.