I absolutely loved this book. I loved everything about it. The characters are all completely believable, the story is one which will you will not want to see the end of while dying to know what actually happened, the writing is wonderful to read and the humanity of the story is so real as to feel — well, real.

I was absorbed for the four evenings I read this book until too late in bed. Had I had the time this would have been a ‘sit down on a Saturday morning and read til it gets dark’ kind of book.

The story is about a Turkish family in London.
It is about how the first generation of immigrant families struggle with the clashing cultures.
It is about how mothers and women in some cultures have roles others may find hard to understand.
It is about sisters and their love for each other which knows no bounds.
It is about faith and a belief that what will be will be, regardless of whether that is experienced as good or not.
And it is about the futility and hope in equal measure, of love.
And family. It is a lot about family. Good family and bad family and painful family and just crappy putting up with shit family.
And maybe just a little about forgiveness.

The story is about the Turkish family and their gambler father who leaves. And the mother who finds the possibility of love again, but cannot be allowed to bring dishonour to the family.
To paraphrase one of the lines which really hit hard: Men have honour, women have shame.
The honourable women woven through the book are the ones carrying shame which is not even theirs, while the very dishonourable men have no shame and are not expected too.
This book should be read by everyone and discussed. How we have a growing society in the 21st century in which this is the prevalent state of being frightens me.

I am all for religious and cultural freedom but the subjugation of women in this way makes me very sad and very angry.

But the story does not do this – I have done this after reading. There is no drum being beaten, no horse being flogged, not even a high horse being ridden in this story. It is just a very readable story that may make you think, or may not.

I loved it
I shall read more of this woman’s work – I am a fan