Three Daughters of Eve

Three Daughters of Eve

Book - 2017
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The stunning, timely new novel from the acclaimed, internationally bestselling author of The Architect's Apprentice and The Bastard of Istanbul .

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.

Elif Shafak is the number one bestselling novelist in her native Turkey, and her work is translated and celebrated around the world. In Three Daughters of Eve , she has given us a rich and moving story that humanizes and personalizes one of the most profound sea changes of the modern world.

Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury USA, 2017.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781632869951
Branch Call Number: SHAFAK E
Characteristics: ix, 369 pages ; 25 cm


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It was a bit difficult to get into this story and I almost put the book down. The political oppression and torture that is life in Turkey was too abhorrent. But when she finally moves to Oxford and starts to question god, herself and civilization the book opens to an exquisite philosophical journey by a bright young woman juxtaposed by the same adult woman living her life back in Turkey 20 years later. I wondered about her final decision when the dinner party ends abruptly, but that will lead to some great book club discussion.

Jun 15, 2018

The book explores the journey of a woman as she sways between belief in God and uncertainty, created in part by childhood trauma and the regressiveness of her religion, Islam. The story is set in two timelines and is interesting, with the characters well developed, but the first half of the book is slow. Nevertheless it challenges beliefs and encourages something deeply lacking today - open minded discussion without hostility.

This book would be a great subject for a book review of discussion on belief and religion.


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