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Gardens of Water

Average Rating 4
( 17 )
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  • Posted August 29, 2009

    Gardens of Water is excellent choice for book clubs

    This book was chosen for our book club. The author deposited us into Turkey right after their earthquake of 1999, and the author gave us a first hand view of survival as a Kurd in Turkey. I was especially taken with the struggles, challenges and trials of the father, as he is perhaps the best portrayed in the book. At least, he was my favorite. For a book club with active talking members (and we certainly are), there is much to discuss; including the topics of the American family and the role of Americans in Turkey, the role of missionaries, the young girl and her desire to fit in, the age-old challenges of young vs. older (parents), etc. The author brought up many topics and I commend the author for writing an excellent story for his first book.

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  • Posted February 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Gardens of Water and a Whirlwind of Emotions

    In a complex world of clashing cultures, both between nations as well as within one another, Alan Drew weaves a tale that captivates the readers emotions, taking hold until the very end. <BR/><BR/>The story begins as Sinan and his Kurdish family celebrate their son's rite of passage. It is at this early point in the story that we discover that Irem, their teenage daughter bares a slight jealously towards her beloved brother for their parents favored treatment. We also learn of Irem's relationship with the American boy who lives in the apartment above them. <BR/><BR/>Suddenly, an earthquate hits the town that changes the life of each and every character forever. <BR/><BR/>So begins a tale that will ultimately lead to passion, fear, regret, loss, friendship, forgiveness, guilt, anger, and peace. <BR/><BR/>Irem will have you quickly reminiscing of those feelings as a rebellious teenager stricken with a desperate case of puppy love. <BR/><BR/>Sinan, the most complex character of the novel, will cause your emotions to fluctuate as you journey with him through the depth of a father's love, his misconstrued hatred for America and his contemplation of how to regain the honor of his family. <BR/><BR/>The ending comes as quite a surprise and I am sincerely impressed with this fresh novelist's debut into the literary world. <BR/><BR/>It is with great anticipation that I await his next project.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2008

    Gardens Of Water

    Alan Drew is an American who spent three years teaching in Istanbul. During that time, he witnessed the 1999 earthquake, which devastated many parts of western Turkey. Having seen the tragedy first hand, he uses it as the backdrop for his self-assured debut, Gardens Of Water. Sensitive, disturbing and thought-provoking at the same time, it deals with thems often dealt with before. Love, loss and betrayal are touched upon, but in this case, it is the setting which makes all the difference: Istanbul, a city where traditionalism and modernity come head to head, is symbolic of the fault line dividing the East and the West. Relationships are tested and sacred bonds are broken when the quake destroys the homes of thousands, including those of a Muslim Kurd and an American. The tragedy brings the families of Sinan, a conservative shop owner who has a teenage daughter and a nine-year-old son, and Marcus, an American teacher who has a teenage son Dylan, head to head. Sinan tries to shield his family from the influence of the Americans when they move into the same apartment building as theirs. Things change when his son survives the quake, thanks to the human shield created by Dylan's mother. Sinan is forced to take refuge in a camp run by American missionaries and sees his daughter falling in love with Dylan. The man who once banned his children from watching Western television and forced his daughters to cover herself when going out, soon sees his old world and the beliefs he held so dear slowly slip away. The powerful story of survival eloquently reflects the characters' inner turmoil as well, making this book hard to put down.

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    Posted April 6, 2009

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