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Title and Author: Three Daughters of Eve (Havaanin Üç Kizi) by Elif Shafak
NOTE: I accidentally read the English version of the book without knowing that it also had a Turkish translation. Shafak has some of her works originally written in English, and some in Turkish, and I wasn’t able to figure out which category this book lives in. But good for you! You get an English review of this book.
Rating: 4 stars with a side of Dessert Parfait.
Tl;dr (except you wr): This novel tells two stories, one of the present, and one of the past. Peri, a wealthy Turkish housewife, is on her way to a seaside gathering in Istanbul when a begger steals her handbag from her car. As she fights to get her bag back, an old photograph––which we learn to be of her time at Oxford––falls out of her bag.
Peri has tried to repress her memories of Oxford since she left, but the photograph triggers old memories of a distant time filled with new experiences, a clash between the West and the East, and a class called “God,” led by a rebellious professor who changes Peri’s life. She is transported back to a time with her two best friends, Shirin and Mona, women who were on two complete wavelengths regarding Islam and feminity. Lastly, we are transported back to the scandal that tore them all apart.
The Rating, explained: I randomly grabbed this book while at the bookstore. The new cover to this book is pretty basic and kind of weird, and at first glance, I had wondered who had designed such a cartoon-y cover. Then, I noticed the author’s name, Elif Shafak, and recognized that it is a Turkish last name. Naturally, I picked it up and started reading.
Something that I love about Shafak’s writing is brutal honesty. She addresses the juxtaposition between Turkey and the West, between Turkey and the Middle East, between democracy and the lack thereof so well that I kept on taking breaks to write down singular sentences that really hit me. The story itself is beautifully written. I was able to manage reading and taking breaks but enjoyed every second of the novel.
I would recommend this to anyone who wants an existential crisis about identity and politics with a bunch of sass.
Amount of sleep voluntarily lost during the reading of this book: THIS WAS DONE WITH TIME MANAGEMENT. (Yay!) So, not much just took breaks from work to read.