The stunning, timely new novel from the acclaimed, internationally bestselling author of The Architect's Apprentice and The Bastard of Istanbul .
Peri, a married, wealthy, beautiful Turkish woman, is on her way to a dinner party at a seaside mansion in Istanbul when a beggar snatches her handbag.Read more...
The stunning, timely new novel from the acclaimed, internationally bestselling author of The Architect's Apprentice and The Bastard of Istanbul.
Peri, a married, wealthy, beautiful Turkish woman, is on her way to a dinner party at a seaside mansion in Istanbul when a beggar snatches her handbag. As she wrestles to get it back, a photograph falls to the ground--an old polaroid of three young women and their university professor. A relic from a past--and a love--Peri had tried desperately to forget.
Three Daughters of Eve is set over an evening in contemporary Istanbul, as Peri arrives at the party and navigates the tensions that simmer in this crossroads country between East and West, religious and secular, rich and poor. Over the course of the dinner, and amidst an opulence that is surely ill-begotten, terrorist attacks occur across the city. Competing in Peri's mind however are the memories invoked by her almost-lost polaroid, of the time years earlier when she was sent abroad for the first time, to attend Oxford University. As a young woman there, she had become friends with the charming, adventurous Shirin, a fully assimilated Iranian girl, and Mona, a devout Egyptian-American. Their arguments about Islam and feminism find focus in the charismatic but controversial Professor Azur, who teaches divinity, but in unorthodox ways. As the terrorist attacks come ever closer, Peri is moved to recall the scandal that tore them all apart.
Elif Shafak is the number one bestselling novelist in her native Turkey, and her work is translated and celebrated around the world. In Three Daughters of Eve, she has given us a rich and moving story that humanizes and personalizes one of the most profound sea changes of the modern world.
The way we were
Elif Shafak’s Three Daughters of Eve begins sharply, as Peri, a wealthy, middle-aged Turkish woman, makes her way to a dinner party. Suddenly, Peri finds herself face to face with a mugger, who takes her purse and shakes free its contents, including a cherished Polaroid.
Watching the Polaroid flutter to the ground, Peri recalls her early days at Oxford University, a time of personal uncertainty about the existence of God. She and the two women from the photograph—the devout Mona and the skeptical Shirin—are “the three daughters of Eve,” and together they take a seminar on God. Peri is instantly smitten with the mysterious professor, and as he pushes her to question her beliefs, she falls deeper for him—and begins to panic.
The novel alternates between the present—as Peri encounters snobby members of Istanbul’s middle class at the dinner party—and her traumatic memories of what happened with her professor. In striking, lovely language, Shafak considers Islamophobia, teacher-student relationships and terrorism of many kinds. Fresh and timely, this is an approachable novel of big ideas.