My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It did take me a while to get into this book and I confess to wondering if the author had spent too much time researching the history and forgetting the story.
I read the last chapters whilst sitting at a bus stop in the small Catalonia town of Mont Blanc having misinterpreted the bus times and without a phone to contact the person who was going to be left sitting at my arrival bus stop. The closing letter of Kavatavuk the Letter Writer struck a chord,
“It is often useless to plan for things, even when you know exactly what you are doing. The present is confounded by the future, the future is confounded by the future beyond it and the memories bubble up in disorder and the heart is unpredictable.”
His letter is a beautiful ending to a series of stories concerning an array of characters that depict the tragic tale and historical events that led to the birth of modern Turkey. Graphic stories of atrocity mixed with De Bernieres’ soft attention of how humans touch each others lives. By the end my opinion had done a complete U turn. It is a vivid book which touchingly combines research with believable characters.
With this book you will learn about Turkish history, the idiocy of men and the brilliance of human emotions.
I gave up worrying about the bus and sure enough it came.