Honor (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

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.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780143125044
ISBN-10: 0143125044
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: February 25th, 2014
Pages: 342
Language: English