‘The Bastard of Istanbul Book Review’

The bastard of Istanbul, is a complicated and mystery book. It has as story that you would try hard to decipher. The most interesting aspect of this book is that every chapter is named after a food item, with that item having a strong relevance within the chapter.

The story starts with Zeliha Kazancı a nineteen year old, seeking an abortion. During the procedure, she somehow shrieked a no and the doctor stopped. Later on, she changes her decision and gives birth to a girl Asya. Asya being an illegitimate child is declared a ‘Bastard’. She lives in Istanbul in a family of only women. Her family includes of her mother Zelhia, grandmother ‘Gulsum’, great grandmother ‘Petite Ma’ and three aunts, ‘Ceveria, Feride, and Bano’. While, Kazancı men have had a history of dying at an early age. It seems they might be cursed. Zeliha’s only brother Mustapha lives in Arizona, America. After he left Istanbul he never once visited his family, trying to escape the curse that causes the death of men in Kazancı family.

In a completely other world, Mustapha marries a woman Rose, who has a daughter from her marriage with an Armenian, Barsam Tchakhmakhchian. Rosa was unable to adapt and adjust in his family, and sought a divorce. In order to infuriate her husband and his family she married a turk. As what Armenians hated most was Turks, due to their shared history of genocide and deportation.

‘Armanoush Tchakhmakhchian’ is named by her grandmother, ‘Shushan Tchakhmakhchian’ after her own mother. Rose disapproved the name and hence started calling her Amy.

Armanoush when turned 19 set off on a secret trip to Istanbul, to understand her Armenian legacy better. She stays with Mustapha’s family and then the secrets start to unravel. Reders uncover the deep secrets of Kazancı family. Asya then learns of who her father is and Bano comes to realize the intertwined history of Kazancıs and Tchakhmakhchians.

The story is packed with events and emotions and whatever theories one might form, the truth is certainly very different. It takes the readers on a ride that forces them to finish it as soon as possible.

I myself was taken aback by the story and the historocal references that it made. I must acknowledge Elif Shafak has an unbelievable writing style that drives me more towards reading her books!

‘The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine Book Review’

Matilda Duplaine does not exist in any paperwork. There is no hospital that confirms her birth and no legal documents that pronounce her as David Duplaine’s daughter. David Duplaine is one of Hollywood’s richest man. He is friends with Lily Goldman, who is the daughter of Hollywood’s most famous movie producer. It’s lily’s father who introduced David in the industry.

The story begins with Thomas Cleary a struggling journalist in LA Times, who has to write an obituary for Mr. Goldman’s demise, thus leading him into the lives of the richest and uncovering a secret that, they had been gaurding so long.

He is invited into the party of the elite, but misses the address, this little mismanagement leads Thomas in accidentally discovering a girl in Bel Air estate, who is not allowed to go out or meet anyone. Being curious to find out the truth and solve the mystery, Thomas’s journalistic instincts take him over.

The story unfolds further investigating Matilda Duplaine, and her secret identity, however it does make Thomas fall in love with the beautiful girl who captivated his heart in her first glance.

A beautiful tale written in a beautiful manner, this book surely makes you fall in love with their love story. The book is also termed as “A modern-day Gatsby tale filled with unforgettable characters and charm”. What happens next? Is for you to find out!!

‘A Thousand Splendid Suns Book Review’

A Thousand Splendid Suns makes your heart ache for it’s characters. You find yourself wishing and praying for them, waiting for them to find that peace and be saved. It’s a book that takes you on a journey packed with emotions: longings, distress, happiness, revenge, friendship, love and motherhood. You live all these emotions alongside them.

Mariam and Laila two incredibly strong women; around whom the story revolves have had suffered a lot in Afghanistan during the war, Mujahideen rule and Taliban rule.

Story starts from Mariam as an illegitimate child, who longs for her father who visits her every Thursday. Nana, her mother who warns her that her father is not who she thinks he is; is proven right on an incident that completely shatters and changes her life.

Laila on the other hand born to a happy couple in Mariam’s neighborhood; is a victim of the war’s suffering. Her happy mother mourns for her brothers neglecting her. Laila’s only solace comes from her father and best friend Tariq. But as fate brings her devastating losses, she too experiences life’s crucial reality.

The story is beautifully written and it brings the two women Mariam and Laila together. Their union, their triumphs, their endless struggles and sorrows all are captivating enough that they won’t let you drop the book without finishing it.

In my opinion the book is a must read as it makes us have a glimpse in the life of Afghan women and children whose sufferings had no end during and post war. The language is simple and plain that makes it easier for everyone to understand. Khalid Hosseni deserves a huge applause for his incredible writing. I can’t seriously wait to have another of his book in my hands.

‘The Heart of Henry Quantum’ Book Review

Henry Quantum is a man with an extraordinary intellect. Well that’s what I believe! Having certain thoughts running through his mind all day along, and wondering on the mere existence of things, he’s quite a curious character to read.

The story unfolds as Henry tries to buy a Christmas present for his wife Margaret, which he previously forgot to do.

The book takes place in the course of a day and it serves as an interesting read on the lives of Henry, Margaret and Daisy.
Daisy has been Henry’s love affair. And now he can’t help but think why his marriage is the way it is. Is it because of his affair with Daisy? Their marriage has lost all it’s charm and Margaret and Henry don’t seem to care much about each other.

When Henry decides to buy a perfume for Margaret on December 23rd, he accidentally mets Daisy. Seeing Daisy after so long sparks up all the questions in his mind. The rest of the day is a series of events and thoughts in the minds of the three characters. Does Henry buy Margaret a gift? Would he chose between the two? For that you’ll have to read the book!

In my opinion the book was purely genius, considering how the events of a day make us question our decisions. How one day can change our lives. It certainly is not that one day; but the actions that lead to the particular day.

“The Alchemist Book Review”

The journey to discover one’s true self is always a striving one. It is packed with obstacles and sufferings. One might lose sight of his or her goal during the path when faced with severe views and uncertainty. Mostly judgment is all that breaks down the confidence and we find ourselves questioning if we even took the right decision. Of course, it’s not all pessimistic, there are certain blessings whilst accomplishing our desired outcomes. However, after facing all these obstructions one mostly arrives victorious at the end.

The most important thing that matters during this pursuit of oneself, is the journey, as it grooms our identity. When faced with different scenarios we learn to endure, when met with different people, we learn different schools of thoughts, behaviors, and opinions. Our wisdom increases by far, as we could have ever imagined only because we set out on a path that helped us not only to accomplish what we desired but also to translate our success into our existence.

Such is the story of Santiago. Santiago was a shepherd, unlike his father. He became one because he wanted to be free and explore the world around him. He had a dream in which he was led by a child towards his treasure. A gypsy woman told him the interpretation of it. He met with a king who advised him to go in search of his treasure. On his way Santiago met with many people each one telling him something different, he learned from their experiences and grew even wiser. During his quest, he also met with the love of his life Fatima. A desert girl who captivated his heart. When love came between destiny and the searcher, it was Fatima who encouraged Santiago to keep his pursuit ongoing.

This simple piece of fiction has been written in beautiful writing that captivates its reader’s attention. Through Santiago’s struggle to gain freedom at such an early age, it explains the importance of taking one’s own decisions and listening to one’s heart in terms of what one wants to do. It offers life lessons, that motivate and inspire one to embark on their journey. It elegantly states that if you want to achieve something the whole universe conspires in helping you achieve it. Paulo Coehlo has also enriched this story with beautiful quotes and messages that encourage the readers.
For me, the treasure in the story is a symbol of one’s objective that he or she has dreamed of achieving.
This book gave me hope and I can’t wait to have another one of Coehlo’s books in my hands.

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