Jasmine Nights

A Novel

Jasmine Nights

From the award-winning author of East of the Sun, a powerful love story set against the unstable and exotic cities of Cairo and Istanbul during the height of World War II.

At twenty-three, Saba Tarcan knows her only hope of escaping the clamor of Cardiff Bay, Wales, lies in her voice. While traveling Britain, singing for wounded soldiers, Saba meets handsome fighter pilot Dom Benson, recovering from burns after a crash. When Saba auditions to entertain troops in far-off lands, Dom follows her to London. Just as their relationship begins to take root, Saba is sent to sing in Africa, and Dom is assigned a new mission in the Middle East. As Saba explores Cairo’s bazaars, finding friendship among the troupe’s acrobats and dancers, Dom returns to the cockpit once again, both thrilled and terrified to be flying above the desert floor. In spite of great danger, the two resolve to reunite.

When Saba learns that her position makes her uniquely qualified for a secret mission of international importance, she agrees to help the British Secret Service, concealing her role from Dom. Her decision will jeopardize not only her safety but also the love of her life.

Based on true accounts of female entertainers used as spies during World War II, Jasmine Nights is a powerful story of danger, secrets, and love, filled with the colors and sounds of the Middle East’s most beautiful cities.
  • Touchstone | 
  • 432 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439155585 | 
  • June 2012
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Jasmine Nights includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Julia Gregson. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Saba Tarcan is a talented but naïve young singer stuck in Tiger Bay in Cardiff, while World War II rages on around her. So when she is offered a position with Entertainments National Service Association’s traveling group to sing for the troops behind enemy lines, she jumps at the chance. She leaves her overprotective family and a budding romance with Dom—a young fighter pilot she met in a hospital where he was recovering from a near-fatal crash—behind. 

But Saba is never far from Dom’s mind. When he is transferred to the Desert Air Force, the two are reunited. Yet starting where they left off proves difficult: Saba has been recruited to spy on the Nazi elite, while Dom is flying increasingly treacherous missions. Set in the most exquisite cities of the Middle East during one of the most dangerous eras of world history, Jasmine Nights is a story of intrigue, heart-pounding encounters, and ultimately of the sacrifices made for love.

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Articles About This Book

Off the shelf vertical blog post

Posted on Off the Shelf

Posted by Erin Flaaen

With readers around the world embracing novels like ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE, THE NIGHTINGALE, and EVERYONE BRAVE IS FORGIVEN, it’s clear that I’m not the only one who loves stunning and beautiful World War II fiction. Several months ago, I...

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About the Author

Julia Gregson
Alex Pownall

Julia Gregson

Julia Gregson has worked as a journalist and foreign correspondent in the UK, Australia, and the US. She is the author of East of the Sun, which was a major bestseller in the UK and won the Romantic Novel of the Year Prize and the Le Prince Maurice Prize there, and Monsoon Summer. Her short stories have been published in collections and magazines and read on the radio. She lives in Monmouthshire, Wales.