The injustices towards Jews during the second world has been known to almost everyone and there have been books about the experiences of Jews in camps. But little has been written about the diplomats and government officials who have helped many Jews to flee from the pondering Germans.
Ayşe Kulin has crafted an exemplary tale on the background of the second world War. Eventhough the story is primarily about Selva, a Muslim and Rafael, a Jew who fell in love with each other and fled their homeland Turkey in order to be far from their estranged parents, slowly the books takes a different path of how the Jews in France are transported to Turkey and how the government officials risked everything to make this possible.
Author has deftly distributed equal space to all characters, both big and small. The repercussions of Selva’s marriage in her parents and sister’s lives is what the plot takes off with. Sabiha’s complicated relation with her husband,daughter and Tarik, whom she teached French is a subplot which eclipses the main plot but towards the second half Sabiha is nowhere to be seen.
A detailed account of the train journey from France to Turkey is a tricky scenario. It could make the book an exceptional piece for those who are looking for to a core historical fiction but it could be simultaneously boring for the ones who expect a historical love story. Author has taken care of the minute details and has narrated the gruesome experience without giving an eerie feeling yet conveying the animosity without fail.
Targets a niche yet wide audience.
Scenario: 5 /5