Friday, February 1, 2008

Gardens of Water by Alan Drew

He had stopped to pray before going to the tent, stopped to gather his head before being confronted with an angry daughter, a frightened son, and a panicked wife. He needed a break: the double shifts at work, the upheaval in a home that wasn't a home, and the fear that he would be stuck here in this city was more than he could bear. A resentment was growing inside of him like a thorn bush, and he found himself acting out a fantasy in his head in which he broke down and screamed at his family. ~ Gardens of Water, page 213 [ARC, uncorrected proof] ~

In a small town outside Istanbul, Sinan, a struggling Kurd shopkeeper, is a devout Muslim whose fifteen-year-old daughter, Irem, dreams of escaping the confines of her family and the duties expected of a Muslim woman. In Dylan, the American boy who lives in the apartment upstairs, Irem sees the enticing promise of a different life.
After the earthquake of 1999 destroys Sinan's home, making him once again a refugee in his own country, the two families - Muslim and American - bond with a dangerous intimacy. As forbidden love develops between Irem and Dylan, Sinan finds himself faced with greater dangers; he is confronted by decisions with potentially grave consequences that push him inexorably toward the ultimate betrayal, one that will change both families' lives forever.

I love reading about cultures different from the one I was raised in. It's my way of traveling the world and educating myself without leaving the comfort of my own home. Mr. Drew draws, with words, a very intimate view into the lives of a modern, devout, conservative Muslim family and the struggles they face after their lives are destroyed by an earthquake and they move to a refugee camp set up and run Americans. While each member faces their own individual internal battle I believe the father, Sinan, faces the toughest of all. His experiences as a child deeply influence his actions as an adult and color his dealings with not only his own family but those providing aid. The further into this book you get the more complex and touching this story becomes.

I recommend this wonderful book. It's a gem.
** Please disregard any spelling errors. Blogger spell check isn't working **


Post a Comment