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September 2019: Cultural > Three Daughters of Eve - Elif Shafak - 5 stars

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message 1: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jennywilliams88) | 670 comments Blurb: Peri, a married, wealthy, beautiful Turkish woman, is on her way to a dinner party at a seaside mansion in Istanbul when a beggar snatches her handbag. As she wrestles to get it back, a photograph falls to the ground -- an old polaroid of three young women and their university professor. A relic from a past -- and a love -- Peri had tried desperately to forget.

Three Daughters of Eve is set over an evening in contemporary Istanbul, as Peri arrives at the party and navigates the tensions that simmer in this crossroads country between East and West, religious and secular, rich and poor. Over the course of the dinner, and amidst an opulence that is surely ill-begotten, terrorist attacks occur across the city. Competing in Peri's mind however are the memories invoked by her almost-lost polaroid, of the time years earlier when she was sent abroad for the first time, to attend Oxford University. As a young woman there, she had become friends with the charming, adventurous Shirin, a fully assimilated Iranian girl, and Mona, a devout Egyptian-American. Their arguments about Islam and feminism find focus in the charismatic but controversial Professor Azur, who teaches divinity, but in unorthodox ways. As the terrorist attacks come ever closer, Peri is moved to recall the scandal that tore them all apart.

Review: I really enjoyed this book and the descriptions of Muslim culture, especially when compared to the European culture as it provides a useful contrast and makes you think.

It also reminded me of my time at Winchester University - I had a lecturer similar to Azur and I could easily identify with Peri at times. I couldn't get on with Peri's Mum though - way too religious for me!

(view spoiler)


message 2: by NancyJ (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 4883 comments Great review. I love it when I can personally relate to a character's experience.

I'm really intrigued by this author. She writes books that are both popular and contenders for literary awards. I couldn't get a copy of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World which was on the booker list. A friend of mine strongly recommended this one: The Forty Rules of Love and I found it in my library.


message 3: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8136 comments See now, I have been strongly recommending the three daughters of Eve as a hidden jewel for years now. It was in my top 10 a year or two ago, and I have mentioned it more times than I can count. So glad you loved it too! I think also Tracy read it and loved it. This was truly one of my favorites. Sorry for all of you were also attempting to slash the TBR. I wouldn’t trim it here. This is a definite add.


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