Picture in the Sand by Peter Blauner #booktwitter #bookreview @stmartinspress


On rare occasions I read a book that reminds me of why I fell in love with storytelling in the first place. This is such a book.” —Stephen King

Peter Blauner’s epic Picture in the Sand is a sweeping intergenerational saga told through a grandfather’s passionate letters to his grandson, passing on the story of his political rebellion in 1950s Egypt in order to save his grandson’s life in a post-9/11 world.

When Alex Hassan gets accepted to an Ivy League university, his middle-class Egyptian-American family is filled with pride and excitement. But that joy turns to shock when they discover that he’s run off to the Middle East to join a holy war instead. When he refuses to communicate with everyone else, his loving grandfather Ali emails him one last plea. If Alex will stay in touch, his grandfather will share with Alex – and only Alex – a manuscript containing the secret story of his own life that he’s kept hidden from his family, until now.

It’s the tale of his romantic and heartbreaking past rooted in Hollywood and the post-revolutionary Egypt of the 1950s, when young Ali was a movie fanatic who attained a dream job working for the legendary director Cecil B. DeMille on the set of his epic film, The Ten Commandments. But Ali’s vision of a golden future as an American movie mogul gets upended when he is unwittingly caught up in a web of politics, espionage, and real-life events that change the course of history.

It’s a narrative he’s told no one for more than a half-century. But now he’s forced to unearth the past to save a young man who’s about to make the same tragic mistakes he made so long ago.


Alex has left his family and joined an extremist Islamic group. The only person in the family he is in contact with is his grandfather. It is between these emails that his grandfather, Ali’s past unfolds. Ali wanted to be a Hollywood movie mogul. He got his chance when Hollywood came to town to film The Ten Commandments. But, the revolution was in full swing and Ali gets caught up in a political web which changes his life.

I have not read too many books about Egypt, especially one set in this time period. I enjoyed learning about this time in history. I never knew much about the revolution in this country. Add in the big Hollywood names of Cecil B. DeMille and Charlton Heston and this book really hit its mark.

This story had some great, intense, heartbreaking moments and wonderful history. The only reason for the 4 star rating is the every day details seemed abundant. But, that should not stop you. This is a story not to be missed!

Need a good Hollywood noir story…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today.

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

Purchase Here




About fredreeca

I am an avid reader and paper crafter. I am a mom of 2 children, 5 dogs and 1 cat. I am a huge St. Louis Cardinals Fan
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