Why you should read Elif Şafak’s "Honor"

          First of all because even in 2017, it deals with a very current topic.

         But not only that, also because the book has a great plot that will keep you guessing and waiting for more. “Honor” is dedicated to “those who hear, those who see” unraveling surprising facts with every page turned.  When you think you have all the information to draw a conclusion, the author will give you something you were not expecting.

          You think you know the hearts of the main characters, but you are actually walking in thick fog straight until the end. Shafak creates a spiderweb made up of fragments of Toprak family’s history, where several stories run in parallel:

–   the present abrupt development of events within Pembe and Adem’s family, where their three kids coming from Turkish Kurd backgrounds get integrated differently in the English society ( Esma, the liberal feminist; the young innocent Yunus who spends his time with a group of punkers in an abandoned house and the rebel yet traditionalist Iskender)

–    the life of Jamila, Pembe’s twin sister living alone in the wilderness in the neighborhood of a small village near the Euphrates

–    the stories of Adem’s childhood, marked by a drunken father and a runaway mother

–    the love story bloomed in Toprak’s family many years in the past

            I could never relate to the social standards and judgemental society in which we live today and people have always lived in, I have never been one to follow rules and I could never understand how some imposed norms can defeat one’s love for the closest person anyone has. This book made me think about inequality even in a seeming free and liberal world and made me scream (on the inside, I’m a zen lady) to the thought that someone cannot share its life with the person that brights her/his day, just because of some overrated norms.  Norms that make acceptable for a man to abandon the family home to shack up with a mistress without any regrets or consequence, but where a woman who elopes or simply finds happiness after being abandoned, or even worst, have been kidnapped will be presented with a rope as an unspoken instruction to do the decent thing.

Favorite quotes from the book:

  • “There were many legends about these rocks and behind every legend a story of forbidden love.”
  •  “To her the future was a land of promises. She had not been there yet, but she trusted it to be bright and beautiful. It was a place of infinite potential, a mosaic of shifting tiles, now in a seamless order, now in mild disarray forever re-creating itself. To him the past was a shrine. Reliable, solid, unchanging and above all, enduring. It provided insight to the beginning of everything; it gave him a sense of center, coherence and continuity. He visited it devotedly and repeatedly, less out of need than out of a sense of duty – as if submitting to a higher will.”

So what do you say, will you give the book a chance?

Ingrid is the author of IngridZenMoments, blending in travel, reading and loving in the life of a full time mutinational worker and encouraging people to live and love life to the fullest.
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2 thoughts on “Why you should read Elif Şafak’s "Honor"

    1. I totally recommend it if you liked The bastard of Istanbul. I have tried to read Black Milk as well but unfortunatelly I cannot really relate, since she is describing her life and the issued she had to face once she became pregnant. Let me know what you think abou the Architect’s Apprentice, I have it on my phone in Italian but I haven’t started it 🙂

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