The Last Watchman of Old Cairo

The Last Watchman of Old Cairo

A Novel

Book - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Joseph, a literature student at Berkeley, is the son of a Jewish mother and a Muslim father. One day, a mysterious package arrives on his doorstep, pulling him into a mesmerizing adventure to uncover the tangled history that binds the two sides of his family. For generations, the men of the al-Raqb family have served as watchmen of the storied Ibn Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo, built at the site where the infant Moses was taken from the Nile. Joseph learns of his ancestor Ali, a Muslim orphan who nearly a thousand years earlier was entrusted as the first watchman of the synagogue and became enchanted by its legendary-perhaps magical-Ezra Scroll. The story of Joseph's family is entwined with that of the British twin sisters Agnes and Margaret, who in 1897 depart their hallowed Cambridge halls on a mission to rescue sacred texts that have begun to disappear from the synagogue.

The Last Watchman of Old Cairo is a moving page-turner of a novel from acclaimed storyteller Michael David Lukas. This tightly woven multigenerational tale illuminates the tensions that have torn communities apart and the unlikely forces-potent magic, forbidden love-that boldly attempt to bridge that divide.

Praise for The Last Watchman of Old Cairo

oA beautiful, richly textured novel, ambitious and delicately crafted, The Last Watchman of Old Cairo is both a coming-of-age story and a family history, a wide-ranging book about fathers and sons, religion, magic, love, and the essence of storytelling. This book is a joy.o -Rabih Alameddine, author of the National Book Award finalist An Unnecessary Woman
Publisher: New York : Spiegel & Grau, [2018]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780399181160
Branch Call Number: Fic
Characteristics: 270 pages ; 22 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Apr 26, 2018

About four chapters in, I was ready to set this book aside because character development just wasn't happening satisfactorily. Then suddenly, the author hits his stride, and the story and characters become lively. I wish he would've added a lot more depth to all the story lines.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SLPL

To Top