Thursday, June 19, 2008

An outstanding first novel

Ever since I read “The Kite Runner” I have been intrigued with the differences between the “American” way of life and that of our fellow world citizens in the East. It is a daunting task and challenges me constantly to keep an open mind.

Alan Drew, in this first novel, tackles the problem courageously. In Chapter One he introduces us to the family of Sinan Basioglu, a devout Kurdish Muslim, living in a small town outside of Istanbul. A celebration takes place to honor his nine year old son who is coming of age and, very reluctantly and at the insistence of his wife, Sinan invites the American family living on the floor above to join them.

The next night the devastating 1999 Marmara earthquake destroys their apartment building and takes the life of the American wife. She is found among the debris shielding the young Kurdish son with her body, an action that has saved his life. Much to the dismay of Sinan he finds that he will now be forever indebted to the American family.

The rest of the book takes place in the months that follow the earthquake. The intense conflict between cultures and faiths is chronicled with depth and compassion by Alan Drew. The reader is drawn into their lives and comes away with a greater understanding of the differences between East and West.

This is not an easy, “feel good”, novel. However, it was one of the best that I’ve read in a long time. I congratulate Alan Drew on his first undertaking and hope that this will be the first of many.


Blogger kenju said...

I also enjoyed The kite Runner, and this one may make my shelf before too long. I have so many to read it is pitiful!

4:58 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

It sounds like s worthwhile novel. Meanwhile, I'm heading off to the latest Inspector Banks. :)

5:23 AM  
Blogger possum said...

I just found your blog! Very nice! I enjoyed reading all your interesting posts. And interesting that you have a book about Kurds. My daughter (a Kurd by birth, American by adoption) is married to another Kurd, they are both doctors living on the Turkish - Iraqi border, often working in the refugee camps. I am going to amazon to order this book. Thanks!
Glad I found you!

12:44 PM  
Blogger Chancy said...

Ginnie Since you liked "The Kite Runner" you need to read the author's second book which also takes place in Afghanistan,
"A Thousand Splendid Suns." I actually liked this second one best.

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also loved the Kite Runner, but I bet that was probably the first novel about another culture from the East I ever read. I'm also trying to broaden my reading horizons concerning this and have recently been introduced to the Indian author, Thrity Umrigar, with her novel, The Space Between Us. It was excellent and now I have her other two, Bombay Time and If Today Be Sweet. She's a remarkable writer and great storyteller.
This one you recommend also sounds very good and I'll have to add it to my ever-growing, long, list.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Crayons said...

Hi Ginnie
This is a welcome and well-written book review. I really liked -- well, that's not quite the word, but I was so impressed with "The Kite Runner," both for content and style.

I have a real weakness for Turkey, the land of my grandparents and husband. I have put this book on my "To Read" list. Thanks

8:00 AM  
Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

I think this is just what Mr Drew would want to hear..I would love to write a book one day and have people tell me they really enjoyed it and recommend it to now, I am off to find that book..and maybe, just maybe, to write a book myself :)

5:47 PM  
Blogger Rinkly Rimes said...

Dear Goldendaze,
I am an Australian Grandmother, new to Blogging, I have been browsing the 'Ageless' Blogs with keen interest learning as I go. I was particularly interested in your recommendation of a new novel as I belong to a Book Group and we are always looking for new books. 'The Kite Runner' was a great favourite. I love to write, mostly poetry, some doggeral, some serious. My Blog is called Rinkly Rimes for obvious reasons.
Brenda Bryant

2:31 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

I liked the Kite Runner. I'll have to check out this book. Thanks for the recommendation.

11:47 AM  

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