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The Turk and My Mother - Si Turki dan Ibuku
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The Turk and My Mother - Si Turki dan Ibuku

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  306 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Lucu dan mengharukan, novel pertama yang luar biasa ini mengisahkan sejarah rahasia sebuah keluarga imigran di Milwaukee.

Mengapa Agnes yang biasanya kolot hampir pingsan waktu menonton film yang dibintangi Omar Sharif? Benarkan dia bercinta dengan seorang Turki - ataukah pria itu orang Kroasia? - dulu di Negeri Leluhur? Mengapa Paman Marko tak pernah menyurati keluarganya
Paperback, 268 pages
Published March 2006 by Gramedia (first published June 17th 2005)
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3.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  306 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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Feb 20, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was actually just like talking to an old relative, maybe a grandmother or great aunt. They tell many stories, many of which are touching and amazing and that inform you of what life was like in the old days or old country. But at the same time, sometimes the stories wander off, or are hard to follow. Sometimes it's hard to keep straight all the names of all the people they talk about. Sometimes you sort of daydream in the middle of them telling you their stories :) And sometimes, just ...more
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not a perfect book, but I gave it five stars because I was completely caught up in the story and couldn't put down this book.
Alvi Harahap
Jul 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mary Helen Stefaniak writes of this country as the great melting pot, where our ancestors have come from all over the world, from the old countries of Russia, Italy, Ireland, from a Europe stressed by conflict and the rise to power of demagogues. They brought their transplanted hopes to their new country, where they bloomed again, creating a new cultural identity with roots nourished by ancestors. These are real people, once youthful and driven by dreams and expectation like any emerging generat ...more
Jun 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book but strangely enough I had a bit of dread and/or anxiety when I was about to read it. Without getting into too much detail and spoiling it, it was anxiety causing as you were worried that the various love affairs/true matches, etc, were not going to work out. I LOVED that at every turn there was a truth behind what was on the surface. It was amazing how it was so tangled and yet so simple and fun to figure out. There were a few matches that I barely picked up on, which ...more
Jennifer G
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Given the title, I thought that this book would be about an illicit love affair between a married woman and a Turkish man. The book was so much more than that.

The book starts off set in the 1914 where a husband sets off to America, leaving his new wife back in Europe in a small village, along with his mother and the rest of the extended family. Although something may transpire between "the Turk" and the wife, this is but a small part of the story. The story follows the family as they rejoin the
Anita Daniel
Aug 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every family has histories, every heart has secrets, and when they slowly revealed, we still have choices to believe it or not.
From three generations of this Novo Selo - Milwaukee family, Mary Helen told us the untold stories by using her father, Georgie as the story teller for most part of the book. Separations, forbidden love, passion, secrets and everything during war to these days. And the plot is so full of mixed-traveled-heart all around the world, full of charming and strong characters.
Apr 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I had to draw a family tree after I read this book to reinforce the relationships in my mind! I loved this book. Set in both Croatia and Milwaukee, WI we see parallels in the family history of a family on both sides of the ocean. I loved the passions of the characters that lead them to actions/affairs which make them personal, human, and interesting to their descendants! (even if the family tree becomes a little questionable) The power of attraction is explored in this book. Also, how soci ...more
Feb 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia so much that I thought I would try another work by Mary Helen Stefaniak. To my great surprise this story is about Milwaukee! - near and dear to my heart. I love the way the author weaves in story, she just keeps twisting and turning all kinds of corners. This story is about immigrants to Milwaukee from Croatia - early 1900's and the connections between people, the stranger than true story of a certain family that makes one wonder how many other families ...more
Sep 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever sat with a group of immigrants, perhaps older members of your family, as they tell stories of the auld country? Details are exaggerated, secrets are told (or not), there are multiple versions of the same story, family bonds are strengthened and laughter abounds. This is that kind of story. Sometimes it was hard to follow the plot and all the characters, sometimes I wondered about the veracity of what a character was saying, but always I was fascinated.

In this book, Mary Helen Stef
Jul 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stefaniak has a wonderful way of developing her characters and the story. It really feels when I read that the story is told as only the characters themselves could tell it, just as the narrator himself notes the way that his grandmother tells stories. For me this makes the book an absolute delight to read. The story is so warm, so personal. I found it to be extremely emotionally engaging. At times laugh out loud funny, at others eyes tearing up touching, at all times interesting. In short, a ma ...more
I wavered between 2 stars and 3, but went with 3 b/c the writing is very well done, and the characters are charming, interesting, and varied. This book follows various members of a family from Croatia, I think, as they either emigrate to the US, stay behind, or join WW1 in Europe. Their stories weave together in a very complex manner. I also did 2 stars, though, because nothing much happens, it is not terribly exciting, or mysterious, or happy, or sad, and it didn't cause me to have a reaction o ...more
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This multi-generational novel unfolded in layers, circling back from one time to another, one country, one family member to another, revealing a little more of the complete picture each time. The author describes it as braiding. I found it confusing at times. I enjoyed the Milwaukee setting for the Croatian immigrants and the language from my past, when we lived in Yugoslavia: "Dobro jutro," Staramajka said. "Da," he said, "Cekaj..."
Jackson Matthews
Nov 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of a family with lots of secrets, this covers a lot of early 20th century history of people in EurAsia and U.S. I thought it was unusual to read of people who always longed for home, or who never *wanted* to go the U.S. From my social studies class, didn't everyone want to be here? At any rate, it was a fast and fun read. There was nowhere near the grisliness of the Atwood books, though any story involving Cassock soldiers is bound to have some
May 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Turk and My Mother held a lot of promise for me of an interesting book. While it is an interesting collection of stories, I found that the style in which they were presented - a lot of jumping back and forth - detracted rather than added to the enjoyment of the reading.

I may go back at a later date and re-read this book to see if I can follow it a bit better the second time around. I still want to give the stories a chance.
Aug 06, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: midwest
The author is a woman from Iowa City who had two daughters who participated in Young Footliters productions with our daughters. I had enjoyed some of her short stories I'd read, & the jacket copy had me really looking forward to this celebration of the stories passed along the generations of an immigrant family (in this case Croatian immigrants to Milwaukee). It was OK but didn't, to my mind, live up to its promise.
Sue Braunschweig
I finished this book more than six months ago and the characters are just as fresh in my mind. I loved the narratives slow reveal of bits and pieces of family stories regarding romance/secrets and one generation caring for the next in the best way they know how. The images Stefaniak created regarding the village in the "old country" and immigration experience here in Milwaukee were memorable. I loved the music, the flowers and love that she portayed here.
Sep 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book with all its the twists and turns. It has the ring of authenticity, from the rich and foibled personalities to the thorough description of the cultural climate of the era. Exceptionally well done. I didn't want it to end, but I couldn't put it down.
Oct 09, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2008
At times, I really loved this. But I thought a lot of it was sort of rambling and confusing. It started out really strong and then just fell apart towards the end for me. It was interesting from the perspective of learning about a different culture and their experiences immigrating to the US.
Aylin Gay
Sep 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was like being able to peek into the past histories of family members. It made them individuals and not just a mother, grandmother, father, close family friend, etc. The way the story unfolded through the eyes of one character through time was engaging.
Nov 23, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
This was a pretty good book- kept me interested, although it was a little hard to follow. The information from the author indicated that this was part of the goal- to write the book like it might sound as a family story, told by different family members, so I guess it was successful then.
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
loved the characters in this family story.
Bonnie Campbell
It's a remarkable family saga. MHS weaves a beautiful tapestry
Amy Ramponi
Jan 06, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hated this book. HATED it. Boring. Story boring. Characters boring. The only redeeming quality was I enjoyed reading about Milwaukee's history.
Jean Matthews
Read this book much too slowly in fits and starts and found it confusing.
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was my favorite beach read this summer.
Oct 25, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and well written but a little confusing. Expected a big bang of an ending and it never came. A cozy read.
Deb E.
Mar 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not only did I gain a memorable story in my literary bank, but I also gained a rich history of the Austro-Hungarian wartime struggles.
Depiet sumarlin
i have only read the book in Indonesian version. I like it because it tells about a migrant family's origin and serves some surprises inside.
Joseph Michael Owens
Thanks for the free book, Dave!!
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Mary Helen Stefaniak is the prize-winning author of The Turk and My Mother, Self Storage and Other Stories, and The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia. She lives in Omaha and Iowa City.