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Halide's Gift: A Novel
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Halide's Gift: A Novel

3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  123 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Set in Constantinople in the dying days of the Ottoman empire, Halide’s Gift is the story of a family with a secret, and a society in turbulent transition. At the heart of Frances Kazan’s beguiling novel are two sisters—one flamboyant and mischievous, the other shy and full of dreams—bound by an extraordinary friendship and torn apart by their love of radically different m ...more
Paperback, 376 pages
Published September 10th 2002 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published June 26th 2001)
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May 01, 2010 Melinda rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: to no one
Recommended to Melinda by: Aimee
A richer, fuller story could have been told by a better writer. All of the characters and settings required for a great story are here, but the narritive left me wanting more. Ms. Kazan obviously has ties to the publishing world due to her marriage to the famed director. This book fails as a drama because I didn't care aboout any of the characters as they held no special interest for me because they were so one-dimentional and Halide never realizes her "gift". The book dosen't really hang togeth ...more
Pinar Celebi
This year in January I had read a fabulous book (Şu Çılgın Türkler) about the Turkish War of Independence. One of the main characters of that book was Halide Edip Adivar, who served as a soldier in the Turkish military during the Turkish War of Independence. She was a Turkish novelist and feminist political leader. She was best known for her novels criticizing the low social status of Turkish women and what she saw as the disinterest of most women in changing their situation. I read some of her ...more
Kelly Ballard
I have very mixed feelings about this book. 99% of the book I enjoyed thoroughly – exciting plot, interesting characters, the flavor of a different culture…but unfortunately the hated 1% is the ending – which sucked. It was as if Ms. Kazan just decided, “I’m bored with this, new project please.”

Suddenly the plot halts and there is an epilogue providing scant details of each character’s end days. What? Who married who? What? The child? Are you kidding me?

The problem with bad ending to me is I h
Addison Public Library
The dichotomy of two worlds is revealed in this historical fiction novel based on the life of Halide Edib. Halide's father recognizes that his daughter has a genius intellect and supports her in her educational interests. He understands that the world is moving in a more modern direction and encourages Halide to be more westernized. While Halide takes full advantage of her freedom, she has a secret gift that pulls her towards older customs. She hears spirits. This internal struggle accentuates t ...more
Dec 27, 2016 Ellen rated it liked it
Shelves: anti-fascism
The themes explored in this are interesting, but Kazan didn't delve deep enough into any of them. Certain plot lines were abandoned completely--Halide's time in school and feelings of not belonging there were barely given any attention. From the summary, I thought Mahmoure's story would occupy half of the author's attention, but Mahmoure was absent for half of the book. I'm awarding extra stars mostly because of how the author explains the political situation of living under a totalitarian ruler ...more
Jan 08, 2008 Kristin rated it liked it
fiction based on a real person, halide edib, the first muslim to graduate from the american college for girls in 1901. the book focuses on the first half of her life. she was raised in a traditional islamic household, but her father was determined she receive a western education. the book provides a lot of information on early twentieth century turkish history, which i kind of got lost in. but overall, it was a good read. and it made me want to read some of halide's actual novels and memoirs.
Feb 11, 2010 Sandra rated it it was ok
I read this book a while back, so I might not remember everything clearly, but I do know that I really liked it because of the point of view (a fictionalized biography of a real feminist political leader) and the setting (turn of the century Turkey, with wonderful glimpses at the last of the old world life and culture of Istanbul). That was the really fascinating stuff. What did I not like? It got kinda hokey as the novel went along, and the ends were tied up too hastily for the book to be satis ...more
Dona Krueger
Jun 14, 2012 Dona Krueger rated it really liked it
I just completed the second reading of Halide's Gift. Apparently it hadn't made the impact the first reading; that it did the last.

Fantstic history of the Ottoman Empire and it's fall through the eyes of a gifted young woman of intelligence and strength.

Knowing that the facts of this book are truth, made it a very compelling read.
Jan 14, 2013 Kiran rated it really liked it
This beautiful, fictionalized biography of Halide Edip by Frances Kazan brings the hitherto cloistered world of the Ottoman and its women, brilliantly alive. A joy to read, specially by those who know and love Turkey and Turkish culture.
Jun 26, 2010 Sharyn rated it liked it
This novel was set in Constantinople in the dying days of the Ottoman empire 1889-1902. It is a believable story about a young woman raised with strict Muslim traditions, who evolves with the times.
Apr 09, 2007 Di rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
so so...
Jennie Goldberg
Oct 07, 2015 Jennie Goldberg rated it liked it
It was a worthwhile read as I was travelling in Turkey and it was enjoyable, just not gripping
Hannah Katsman
May 18, 2014 Hannah Katsman rated it liked it
The author of this book could not decide whether she was writing an historical novel or a history book about the end of the Ottoman Empire. It could have done with more showing and less telling.
Apr 22, 2015 Uintah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this years ago and loved it. Haven't found it when I've looked for it.
Farah Adel
Feb 17, 2011 Farah Adel rated it it was ok
Worst book ever lol.. Ottoman empire? !!!
Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Jun 17, 2007
Kathy rated it really liked it
May 17, 2016
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Eli Constant rated it really liked it
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Jul 26, 2007
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