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Gardens of Water
 
 

Gardens of Water [Kindle Edition]

Alan Drew
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £4.12 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description

Review

'A powerful look at love and heartbreak' Marie Claire 'Gardens of Water is an important novel Drew explores, with respect and understanding, clashes between cultures, faiths, and generations, in an intricately woven novel Gardens of Water is a real triumph, and it introduces an exciting new writer and voice' Yiyun Li, author of A Thousand Years of Good Prayers 'A penetrating, tightly-focused novel which balances the sweetness of youth and the brooding anxieties of parenthood with a robust understanding of the Muslim-Western encounter' Leila Aboulela, author of Minaret 'A novel in which disastrous aftershocks rumble all the way through to a tragic denouement. Sensitive and thought-provoking, Gardens of Water is set in a perfectly realised Istanbul, a city where traditional and modernity grind together like the fragments of a collapsing building' New York Times Book Review

Review

'A powerful look at love and heartbreak' Marie Claire 'Gardens of Water is an important novel Drew explores, with respect and understanding, clashes between cultures, faiths, and generations, in an intricately woven novel Gardens of Water is a real triumph, and it introduces an exciting new writer and voice' Yiyun Li, author of A Thousand Years of Good Prayers 'A penetrating, tightly-focused novel which balances the sweetness of youth and the brooding anxieties of parenthood with a robust understanding of the Muslim-Western encounter' Leila Aboulela, author of Minaret 'A novel in which disastrous aftershocks rumble all the way through to a tragic denouement. Sensitive and thought-provoking, Gardens of Water is set in a perfectly realised Istanbul, a city where traditional and modernity grind together like the fragments of a collapsing building' New York Times Book Review

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 531 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0747596573
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks (1 Jun 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0051UH7BE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #109,693 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Lesson in International Relations. 26 Aug 2008
By Mrs. H. V. Minor VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Set in Turkey, in 1999, the year the earthquake struck, this story follows the fortunes of two families whose fates become entangled. Sinan and Nilufer are conservative, Kurdish Muslims from a rural background who are attempting to bring up their two children, Irem and her young brother, Ismail, along strictly tradional lines. Marcus and Sarah and their son, Dylan, are Americans living and working in Turkey. Sinan has a profound mistrust of Americans who he accuses of aiding Turkey in the suppression of Kurds and their fight to establish a Kurdish homeland, so when the earthquake binds him to Marcus in ties of obligation, their relationship becomes even more scratchy. Several strands weave through this novel: the role of women in Kurdish Moslem society, the clash of cultures - conservative Moslem with twentieth century American, the clash of Moslem with Christian values, the position of minority Kurds living in Turkey, the stress of lives lived in refugee camps and the stresses of all these upon young people caught up in them, all combine to create a devastating scenario in which personal relationships are stretched to snapping point. Alan Drew draws his characters in depth and the reader, powerfully pulled into their emotions, will find it difficult to decide where the fine dividing lines between right and wrong lie. The novel also sounds warning bells about the dangers inherent in tampering with the belief systems of others and also of intolerant prejudice which blinds individuals to acts of kindness.

This is a powerful novel that raises many questions: it is for the reader to ponder the answers.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and enriching 21 Nov 2008
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book centres around an earthquake in Turkey and its after-effects on one Turkish family and their American neighbours. I am no fan of disaster books (or movies, etc.) but fortunately here the earthquake is merely a trigger to explore the deep chasms of Turkish society and the world in general; namely East vs. West, Muslim vs. Christian (religious vs. secular), and rich vs. poor. Not to mention Turkey's own internal feuding with the Kurds. So, plenty of rich topics to explore and the author does a pretty good job to expose these all at a personal level. Moreover, the characters are not one-dimensional fanatics blindly arguing their point; these are real people - parents wanting a good life and happiness for their children while around them the modern world is busy redefining what `a good life' is and their children's expectations for happiness. Their struggles are internal as much as external - a search not only for answers but for identity and belonging. There is the feeling of life on the edge; the earthquake unbalancing an already shaky equilibrium.

The writing is very good - there is emotional depth without becoming sentimental or cloying. The story is teased out at a reasonable pace and only occasionally does the back and forth over the intractable become tedious. If anything, what slightly distracts is the manufactured in the American School of Literature feel to the book - a little too deliberate, everything working but nothing soaring....

My main concern, however, is how well an American can get into the mind and soul of a Turk? On the face of it, extremely well, I must admit! If I compare to a Turkish writer like Pamuk, can I tell the difference... no! If anything I find this book is more accessible.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dull and disappointing 5 Sep 2012
By dharma
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read other books in this genre such as The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Blood of Flowers, all of which I would describe as 'stunning' and 'gripping' but this one totally failed to engage me and the ending was a let down. Part of the problem for me was disliking the central figure (hero?) Sinan and his wife so much, for their callous attitude towards their daughter and preferential treatment of their son. Not an unheard-of theme, sadly. Other reviewers have done a great job in describing the story and how the author covers many sensitive and thought-provoking issues, but I am nonplussed by the 5-star ratings that have been given.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "A man gives up and anything can happen to him." 16 Nov 2008
By Matt Pucci VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In 1999, Istanbul and its surrounding suburbs were hit by an earthquake, leaving thousands dead and causing devastation to the lives of those that survived. Among these survivors is Sinan Basioglu, a family man, a Muslim and - perhaps most significantly - a Kurd. In the aftermath of the quake, Sinan finds he has little choice but to accept the help offered to him by an American man to whom he owes his son's life, and yet distrusts inherently. So begins an extremely testing time for Sinan, as his daughter, Irem, is drawn inexorably toward the American's son, the enigmatic Dylan, while his own son, Ismail, appears to find greater solace in Christian doctrine than that of his own religion...

Gardens of Water is a highly accomplished and compelling novel. Having lived in Turkey at the time of the earthquake, author Alan Drew is obviously well-informed on his subject matter and has succeeded in creating a moving and insightful account that details the challenges, the dilemmas and the doubts of a man pushed to the brink by circumstances beyond his control. While Sinan inevitably suffers heart-break and tragedy over the course the story, his mental fortitude keeps the story moving in a manner that is both realistic and inspiring. Drew adopts a somewhat sombre tone for the telling of Sinan's story, and yet the dialogue is crisp and kinetic while his observations on the East-West divide are both revealing and incisive.

Matt Pucci
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars flowing hair and open pretty faces.
An interesting story, I felt my mind had been deeply broadened regarding the culture and how the religion influences the characters lives. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mrs G Rowe
4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling book
Alan Drew apparently spent three years living in Turkey. I'm not sure what he did there but he writes authoritatively on Islam and Turkish Kurdish culture. Read more
Published 7 months ago by ruggedtoast
4.0 out of 5 stars Read it ....
This is a well written story of cultural misunderstandings, centred around the tragic events surrounding an earthquake in Istanbul. Read more
Published 13 months ago by SunnyB
4.0 out of 5 stars A Turkish tragedy
This is a well written book, the story of one Kurdish family and the upheaval caused by an earthquake which basically destroys their way of life. Read more
Published 16 months ago by A. E. Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading
Well written, poignant story. A tale of two cultures and two familys coming together through a natural disaster. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Maggoo
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing end
This book started really well but for me dragged to a disappointing finish I did however think that the subject was good and painted a picture of what living in a disaster area is... Read more
Published 17 months ago by donna stevens
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Having read the reviews of this book I was anticipating a faster paced novel. The clashes of culture and the tensions between generations were very well described but the story... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Jane Griffith
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but feels a bit manufactured
I enjoyed this book, not least for the description of the rural Turkish family members and their way of life, before and after the earthquake, although the plot felt a little... Read more
Published 17 months ago by doveoscar
5.0 out of 5 stars A Turkish setting
A good and thought provoking read. Was quite upsetting in parts. Another view of life encompassing a clash of cultures
Published 17 months ago by Mrs. R. Ellison
4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed this book!
This book is very well written; a good story and very descriptive. Was a little disappointed in the ending but would still highly recommend it!
Published 17 months ago by Patricia Murray
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