Love in Exile by Ayse Kulin and translated by Kenneth Dakon is a family narrative told between 1903 and 1941 during difficult times in Turkey. It occurs after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the Balkan Wars and World War I. During this time families were torn apart by politics and war. This story is not just about war and difficult times but also a love story of two people who must find a way to be together despite their family differences and objections.
Sabahat Yedic is a lovely and smart woman who wishes to peruse her education despite the cultural expectations that she finish. She is driven and stubborn and stands up for her wish to complete her goal. Sabahat’s family is Muslim. Her family taught her that as a women she should have a good family and children but she believes that her life should be so much more. She persuades her family allow her to continue her education. Sabahat meets a handsome mane named Aram, who is a young Armenian Christian. He has many qualities and views that match the same views of Sabahat. Soon after meeting they fell in love. The two love birds could have allowed their families to dictate who they love but decided to not allow their families choose who to love. They withstand traditions and risk everything to be together.
The descriptions of the city of Istanbul during the time of the story allowed for the story to come alive. I could feel the love and everything that surrounded me as I read.
I give this book 4.5/5 stars.
I received this book from the published via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.