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Virgin's Knot, The
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Virgin's Knot, The

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  489 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
She is called Nurdane, the famed weaver of Mavisu. From her remote mountain village in southwestern Turkey, she creates dowries for young brides: dazzling rugs that are marvels of shape and color, texture and light. Her unique rugs possess remarkable healing qualities that have inspired local legend, but it is her hands that are the heart of her mystery. An artist's hands. ...more
Audio, Abridged, 0 pages
Published July 10th 2003 by Brilliance Audio (first published 2002)
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Carissa Spencer
Nov 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
She was my screenwriting teacher and she broke me out of my writers block and made me fall in love with reading and writing all over again. She's one of the most inspirational teachers I have ever had and I'm happy to have called her my teacher.
I'm not sure how I made it all the way through this book. Stubbornness I suppose. It was poorly written, I hated the style of not wrapping conversations in quotes and letting the reader know who the heck is talking. I found it annoying. The plot doesn't get going until the middle of the book and I found the cultural background uninspiring and underwhelming, and the end of the book just absolutely awful.

Nurdane is a young Turkish lady who lives in the remote hills with her father. She contracted
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A dark story a a polio victim Muslim woman survivor with twisted legs and braces in small Turkish village. Her life is proscribed by her father that she must sit at a loom wearing rugs day by day.. travail that garners him, Ali, money bids from hopeful grooms who try to outbid ach other to obtain the best most praised rugs for their brides. The villagers are full of superstition, beliefs and adhering to their traditional actions. Nurdane matures knowing she will never marry. A doctor, Adam, from ...more
Sandy Reisenauer
this author needs to be discovered. I love both of her books, and I do not know why she has not hit it big yet. I know she will. i highly recommend this book. this was one of our Pulpwood queen picks, and it was one of my favorite reads of 2006. story takes place in turkey, and is the story of a disabled weaver.
Mar 06, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book. I struggled with this book because no quotations were used in conversations. Often it was difficult to determine who was talking and I had to do a lot of re-reading.
I wish the author had of used quotation marks.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a surprise. I'd never heard anything about this book or the author. I picked it because it was recommended as a read through Reading Group Choices and it sounded like it might fit the topic that we'll be discussing at my book club next week. At this particular book club they give you a genre or topic and each participant chooses their own book. The story is about Nurdane who lives in a small Turkish village. As a girl, Nurdane contracted polio and she now gets around with the help of braces ...more
Natacha Pavlov
I really liked this story. There was something calm and peaceful about the narrative that pulled me in and which I’ll always recall when thinking of the novel. Even the lack of quotation marks—frustrating and confusing at times—was not enough to distract me from the storyline. The setting of Mavisu provided a rare view of the Southwestern Turkish countryside, its very existence testifying to all the history it witnessed. Amidst it all is Nurdane, who can arguably be said to embody the concept of ...more
Nov 27, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm definitely torn with this book. On the one hand, the description in the book was very beautiful and I would love to have seen the rugs that were weaved. It was also interesting to glimpse the Turkish culture and traditions of the time. On the other hand, the lack of quotation marks was very distracting and made it difficult to follow conversations. Also, the ending was really lame. The novel started out a little slow, became interesting towards the middle, and I kept wondering where it was g ...more
Jan 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The description of the scenery and the weaving gave a resonance that made the reader feel the culture and smell the food. The prayer rug - goddess connection was very interesting. However, the end and how it came to pass upset me a little bit. First of all, her father's lie about her purity making her able to weave lead to her death in my opinion. I know it was supposed to be beautiful in a Sufi kind of way where she just wanted to go to Allah and leave her unpure parts aside to join the women d ...more
Althea Ann
In 1950's (?) Turkey, in a remote village, a young woman, Nurdane, hand-weaves traditional rugs that are rumored to be like the rugs of no other weaver. One of Nurdane's rugs, as a dowry gift, will supposedly bring the bride luck and fertility. However, Nurdane herself, painfully afflicted by polio, seems doomed never to be a bride herself. Superstition holds that if ever a man touches her, she will lose the gift that Allah has placed in her hands.
However, not one but two men are fascinated with
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
For illiterate women of Anatolia, weaving is composition of feelings and emotions. Nurdane has been blessed with a gift of weaving rug for dowry. Any bride's father would bid for her rugs - 'a virgin's knot', hoping that their daughters will have a chance of happy marriage, of having a baby boy.

Because of this gift, unlike any other women Nurdane can go anywhere alone in this village but at a cause. People respect her. The virgin's knot is how Allah speaks through her hand, her pure hand. So, wh
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tear_jerker
It is called Nurden and the famous carpet weavers. Living in this remote mountain village in southwestern Turkey and makes marvelous carpets that are a strange combination of shapes, colors, textures and lights. Her unique rugs have incredible healing qualities that are becoming widely known.
But she was unhappy because of his handicap, has a sick foot, it can not be married, although this is her greatest desire. Its a tragedy at the end of the book I was so stunned that I could not even to cry.
I would call this an average book. It has a really beautiful story behind it, but to me, the author was trying to do too much at once. It seemed like it was cramming too many plot elements together at a time -- it felt cramped. Furthermore, the writing wasn't nearly good enough to make up for the lack of quotation marks. I've seen it done well (McCarthy's [All the Pretty Horses]), but this just left me re-reading many of the conversations to try to understand who was talking. The narrative voice ...more
Kaitlynn N
A well researched look into Turkish culture and customs, the areas and characters where very captivating and inviting. The novel does not hit you with a plot right away, and because of this, the final chapters seem forced and take on a more Romeo and Juliet quality. For some reason the author forgoes the use of quotation marks, I’m not sure if this is some trend or an indie “I’m unique” thing but all it does is make you look like you can’t grasp basic writing and that you want your reader to be ...more
Sarah Sammis
Aug 31, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: released
All in all The Virgin's Knot is a tightly written and powerful story. Two things distract from an otherwise beautiful and bitter tale of Nurdane and her knots, namely the melodramatic ending and the lack of quotation marks for dialogue. Having to stop and reread an area to decypher if something is being said and if so by whom detracts from otherwise beautifully orchestrated flow of this novel. Then at the very end, the carpet (excuse the pun) gets yanked out from under everyone just to close eve ...more
Emily Decobert
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was an interesting look into the culture of Islam and women. In a religion where women have been stripped of their power, how can a woman find security? In most cases, they hope for a good arranged marriage, but Nurdane would never wed due to the after effects of polio. Instead, she weaves dowry rugs and women are desperate for one, sure that the virgin's knots will assure them happiness in their powerless world. But where can Nurdane find happiness? This is the heart of this great sto ...more
Mary Beth
This is an intriguing story, set in Turkey and far removed from American culture. There's a few themes that aren't fully developed that really leave you wondering what happened with that (like the mother goddess journey)... and it is confusing that she does not use quotation marks, and how do people in Turkey know American cuss words? Overall, though, it's an interesting premise and lovely writing.
May 05, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Spoilers in here. I debated between 2-3 stars but the end really pissed me off. Had it ended better I would have given it 4-5 stars. I loved the material, learning about area, history etc. The book was well written. Heck I liked everything but end. Why in the hell would author choose to have the main character kill herself? It glorified suicide when she had soooo many other ways out it was just stupid!!
May 23, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It took everything I had just to finish this book. I would find myself having to reread pages because my mind would wander off, and there were whole parts of the story that made me just want to fall asleep. Tjough I cannot say I would recommend it this book was incredibly well written. The setting was well described, the characters developed fully, and the dialogue believable, I just didn't like the story.
A fairly decent story from a historical fiction standpoint but absolutely too much filler for my taste. The narrative style was also confusing; I had to re read and backtrack to understand which character was conversing or if a character was dreaming or conversing. Had to work much to hard to understand what was really going on in this novel. A good story with interesting characters and a decent ending but a difficult read without quotation marks.
Kristy Engel
I really really wanted to like this book, but I struggled to get through it. The way the dialogue was written made it tedious.
Sally Atwell Williams
When I first started reading The Virgin's Knot, I wasn't sure I was going to finish it. But shortly after thinking that, I got into the book, staying up late because I wanted to know what was going to happen. This is an interesting story about a young woman weaver far up in the mountains of Turkey. Her rugs have become very famous because of her skill in weaving. I am not going to say any more for it would spoil the book. Enjoy it, I did!
Deborah Hamilton
This was a unique novel that allowed for a sneak peak at different culture and the transformation from child to woman, and the stress one feels to be pure in the eyes of her father and Allah. This story also reveals how one handicapped woman uses her gift to set her free from the world of sin. Truly remarkable and touching.
Jan 10, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The lack of quotation mark when characters were speaking was bothersome - I sometimes had to retrace to figure out who was speaking when. The ending was wrapped up in a hurry. By the end you wondered why some characters were introduced with a story as their story never evolved. Really a 3 1/2 star.
Kora Kaos
Glad I finished it!
Actually it starts out nicely, follows an interesting plot, but the further you read, the worse it gets somehow. I'm still torn if I like the end or not, but its abrupt and somewhat weird.
Apr 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Cindi by: A private bookstore in MN.
Excellent and thought provoking book about the history and lore of Turkish culture and tradition. The story of one woman's journey learning and questioning what she knows and living a life of loneliness to finding love.
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Holly Lynn Payne is an award-winning, internationally published author, writing coach and founder of Skywriter Books, a digital press and publishing consultancy. She is the author of four books. Her third novel, Kingdom of Simplicity, based on true story of forgiveness after she was struck by a drunk driver, won the Benjamin Franklin Award and was nominated for a national book award in Belgium. It ...more
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