Powerful, emotional, and beautifully written, Alan Drew’s stunning first novel brings to life two unforgettable families–one Kurdish, one American–and the sacrifice and love that bind them together.
In a small town outside Istanbul, Sinan Basioglu, a devout Muslim, and his wife, Nilüfer, are preparing for their nine-year-old son’s coming-of-age ceremony. Their headstrong fifteen-year-old daughter, İrem, resents the attention her brother, Ismail, receives from their parents. For her, there was no such festive observance–only the wrapping of her head in a dark scarf and strict rules that keep her hidden away from boys and her friends. But even before the night of the celebration, İrem has started to change, to the dismay of her Kurdish father. What Sinan doesn’t know is that much of her transformation is due to her secret relationship with their neighbor, Dylan, the seventeen-year-old American son of expatriate teachers.
İrem sees Dylan as the gateway to a new life, one that will free her from the confines of conservative Islam. Yet the young man’s presence and Sinan’s growing awareness of their relationship affirms Sinan’s wish to move his family to the safety of his old village, a place where his children would be sheltered from the cosmopolitan temptations of Istanbul, and where, as the civil war in the south wanes, he hopes to raise his children in the Kurdish tradition.
But when a massive earthquake hits in the middle of the night, the Basioglu family is faced with greater challenges. Losing everything, they are forced to forage for themselves, living as refugees in their own country. And their survival becomes dependent on their American neighbors, to whom they are unnervingly indebted. As love develops between İrem and Dylan, Sinan makes a series of increasingly dangerous decisions that push him toward a betrayal that will change everyone’s lives forever.
The deep bonds among father, son, and daughter; the tension between honoring tradition and embracing personal freedom; the conflict between cultures and faiths; the regrets of age and the passions of youth–these are the timeless themes Alan Drew weaves into a brilliant fiction debut.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Gardens of Water|
|Release Date: 02-05-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Gardens of Water|
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Gardens of Water
In the rush of bodies to board the ferry leaving Istanbul for Gölcük, Sinan lost his son.
Five minutes earlier ÿIsmail had been tugging Sinan in the opposite
direction, back toward the city, deep into the labyrinth of arcades
and electronics stores of the Sirkeci neighborhood. Sinan suspected it
was for the exact purpose of missing the ferry home and delaying the
pain of the circumcision ceremony that evening. The boy stomped
across the bricks in his white circumcision costume, one hand squeezing
Sinan’s fingers and the other hoisting his tasseled staff in the air
like a pasha leading a parade. Sinan let himself be pulled for a while,
but the horn had already sounded, and, even though he, too, wanted
to delay the ceremony, they couldn’t miss that ferry.
When they had reached Re¸sadiye Avenue, Sinan pulled ÿIsmail
into the street just as the traffic broke, Sinan’s shoulders rocking back
and forth in an awkward dance on his bad foot. He finally pushed
Ismail through the metal gate to the ferry dock just in time for them
to join the throng of men and women leaving work for the day. They
ran from the shade of the dock back out into the searing summer sun,
Sinan leading Ismail this time through a sea of elbows, shoulders, and
damp backs. They climbed the thin plank of wood used as a bridge
from dock to boat, the green water beneath them churning with
translucent jellyfish, and they entered the smoky cabin, where Ismail
dropped his staff. He let go of Sinan’s hand, and before Sinan could
grab his son’s arm, the boy disappeared, swallowed by the wave of