1949, and Ailsa Roberts and her little daughter Nia are on a troop ship sailing to Egypt to join her husband Joe, a sergeant in the RAF. Already the Suez crisis is brewing and with it a crisis for the family. In 2003, long years after Ailsa has died, Nia hears that a box of her mother’s journals have come to light when her childhood friends Topher and Tim are clearing their own mother’s house after her death. As she reads the journals Nia begins to recover memories of their life in the Canal Zone and decides to revisit Egypt, this time with her own daughter. There, with the help of Ailsa’s Palestinian Christian friend, Mona, she learns the truth about her father’s death, Mona’s role as a catalyst in the disaster, and the part she herself has played.
Intertwining past and present, Into Suez recreates with startling clarity the historical circumstances which directly affect the complex relationship between members of the family as the sun begins to set on the British Empire. In this intelligent, beautifully-written novel, award-winning writer Stevie Davies exposes with subtlety and sympathy the growing marital tensions between a working-class Welshman desperately clinging to his old certainties, and an educated wife expected to embrace conventional domesticity after her wartime independence, and the difficulties both face in a changing, dangerous world.
‘Stevie Davies’s Into Suez is a bold and gripping novel. A very satisfying and moving book.’