Honor: A Novel (Paperback)
What leads a boy to murder his own mother? Can two souls share a single destiny? These are some of the questions central to Elif Shafak's novel, Honor. Shafak, who is Turkey's most-read female author, constructs this heartbreaking portrait of a family so completely, that the book feels much longer than it is in the best possible since. Spanning across cultures and time, Honor fits the scope of an epic into a slim volume, and left me excited to explore more of Shafak's works.
-- Devon— From Devon D. Staff Picks
“Rich in psychological complexity, [Honor] presents an intricate pattern of events to show how a practice as heinous as honor killing could persist.” —Shelf Awareness
Turkey’s leading female writer, Elif Shafak has won international acclaim for her lyrical blend of Eastern and Western storytelling styles. In this heartbreaking tale of love and misunderstanding, Shafak draws upon the dazzling insight, emotion, and drama that infused The Bastard of Istanbul to explore the controversial issue of honor killings as it tragically plays out in one family’s life.
Twin sisters are born in the mid-1940s in a small Kurdish village on the border of Turkey and Syria. Jamila becomes a local midwife. Pembe marries Adem, and they immigrate to London in the 1970s. Bitter and frustrated with his new life, Adem moves out and Iskender, their eldest son, must step in as keeper of the family’s honor. But when Pembe begins to spend time with another man, Iskender will discover that you could love someone with all your heart and yet be ready to hurt them.
About the Author
Elif Shafak is the most widely read female writer in Turkey. Her books include the novels The Bastard of Istanbul and The Forty Rules of Love and the memoir Black Milk. She lives in London and Istanbul.
Praise for Honor
“Rich and wide as the Euphrates river along whose banks it begins and ends, Elif Shafak has woven with masterful care and compassion one immigrant family's heartbreaking story - a story nurtured in the terrible silences between men and women trying to grow within ancient ways, all the while growing past them. I loved this book.” —Sarah Blake, author of The Postmistress
“Fascinating and gripping…a wonderful novel.” —Rosamund Lupton, author of Sister
“A powerful book; thoughtful, provoking, and compassionate.” —Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat
“Calls to mind The Color Purple in its fierceness of its engagement with male violence and its determination to see its characters to a better place. But Shafak is closer to Isabel Allende in spirit, confidence, and charm. Her portrayal of Muslim cultures, both traditional and globalizing, is as hopeful as it is politically sophisticated.” —The Guardian
“Shafak is an unflinching writer…this is vivid storytelling…a gripping exploration of the darkest aspects of faith and love.” —The Telegraph
“This is an extraordinarily skillfully crafted and ambitious narrative, with Shakespearian twists and turns, omens and enigmas, prophecies and destinies fulfilled …Shafak joins writers such as Hanif Kureishi, Zadie Smith, Monica Ali…who offer us fictional glimpses of London’s Others.” —The Independent
“[A] stunning novel…exotic, evocative and utterly gripping.” —The Times