Book Review: Honour &  The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak 

After reading Forty Rules of Love,  I was absolutely in love with the author’s writing style and how she narrates everyday yet so deep stories without making it sound like you’re reading something  set in a time you know nothing about. I started reading Honour while I was at the salon getting highlights in my hair. The story captured my attention immediately. I could totally relate to the woman living in a society where sons are perceived to be gifts from Allah & daughters only burdens or responsibilities.  

The story is about twin sisters and how their lives are interconnected & yet separated by circumstances. One of them marries the man she was not destined or desired to marry. The other one follows her destined path & yet ends up being more miserable than her sister. What I could relate to the most was the part where a young adult son is intrigued by his uncle to keep an eye on his mother in order to protect the honour of his family, since this is what men of the household are supposed to do. There are so many cases reported every year where women are murdered by their own family members in name of honour. It’s both heartbreaking and surprising how nothing has changed for eastern women in this regard. 

 This book is reinforces one simple fact, women, no matter where they are born or bred, no matter what their aims, goals and ambitions are,  they are always subject to the same threats coming from the same people,  in our culture and society. I loved the story & the ending could not have made me more emotional or happier. This books is about every eastern woman who holds her family & relationships dear. 

About The Bastard of Istanbul, this book was recommended by a few book worms and now I wonder if they have read anything else by Elif Shafak at all. My first reaction after finishing this book was “what in the name of god have I just read?”. I’m sure this book is most recognized work of the author, after Forty Rules of love, but the book drove me crazy and the story made me feel gross and sick.

 First of all there are SO MANY names and familiea and characters in the story, you actually need some sort of family tree to correctly understand what’s happening with all these characters and why. Since the book does not offer much help in this regard, draw a family tree for yourself. Use a really big sheet for this. You will thank me at the end. Second, the story fails to interest because there is too much going on with too many characters.  Halfway through the book, the story actuly starts focusing on two characters and we can almost sigh with relief thanking god everything finally makes sense. But wait,  it will not last for long. By the end of the story, you will feel either grossed out or completely freaked out. The ending is abrupt & less important details are stretched far too much than required. 

I have liked Honour as much as I have  hated The Bastard of Istanbul. 

X Zb


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