Alison's Reviews > The Carpet Weaver of Usak

The Carpet Weaver of Usak by Kathryn Gauci
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really liked it

Kathryn Gauci really knows her stuff about carpet weaving and textiles; we see not only the patterns and colours but also the carpet loom working. She has obviously done this herself and brings this to this intimate narrative of two women loving, struggling and rejoicing in stressful times.
But in her vivid descriptions of food, fabrics and everyday Anatolian village life, Gauci doesn't spare us the horrors. She cleverly gives us a sense of dread and desolation of war but without any gratuitous over description. We feel the powerlessness of families as their sons are conscripted despite trying to game the labyrinthine administration of the late Ottoman Empire.
What shines out is the love and mutual care of the principal characters' families across the ethnic divide, the love between one couple and the antipathy between the other. Occasionally, the tone becomes sentimental, but it is entirely within the context of the relationships.
A gentle way to learn of the terrible divide between Greek and Turkish peoples, and a well-written and enjoyable read with much skilful writing. Recommended.
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Reading Progress

November 15, 2018 – Started Reading
November 17, 2018 – Shelved
November 17, 2018 – Finished Reading

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