Author: Ayshe Talay-Ongan
Release date: January 31, 2012
Publisher: Sid Harta Publishers
Source: JKS Communications
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Bookdepository
Read from June 14 - 18, 2012
Summary: Set against transcendent love, unrelenting hatred and loyalties to friends and family, Turquoise is the story of an enduring and passionate love affair between Yasmin and Renan, which spans two decades, two marriages and three continents. Yasmin and her Armenian classmate Ani were oblivious to ethnic differences during their school years in Istanbul. Years later they run into each other, and Ani introduces Renan, her husband, to Yasmin. At that moment under the blazing autumn skies, as Yasmin locks eyes with Renan, she knows that she has come upon her destiny. But political tensions in their land soon force Renan, her secret love, and his family to immigrate to Sydney. A few years on, Yasmin's diplomat father is appointed as the Turkish Consul General to Los Angeles where the family faces a devastating tragedy that will impact their lives in ways unfathomable. She is now forced to make a choice between passion that defines her and reason that guides her. When so much is stacked against Yasmin and Renan, how can love possibly triumph?
In this review I'm going to be brutally honest. There are a lot of things I didn't like about this book, and sadly, none I liked. While this book neither enraged me nor bored me, reading it was a bad experience for me, and I didn't think the book was even well-written, so I had to give this book a lonely one star. It simply isn't my kind of book.
First of all the problems I had with Turquoise is this: the narration. I didn't like the way the book is narrated in the present tense when it really sounds more like a recount of the past. I found that maybe the past tense might be more fitting. This annoyed me a little bit.
The biggest problem is the undeniable fact that I didn't like the story. It touches on Turkish politics, which is always a sensitive subject. I normally don't enjoy books involving politics to begin with. It also didn't help that I have no background information about Turkish politics. It just failed to interest me. The love story isn't even interesting. Love at first sight? Alright. Constant obsession? Understandable. But that love is requited? I didn't buy it. And all these fusses about marriage and love affair? They exhausted me. This book did.
There was also a problem with the characters. Honestly, I didn't like any of the characters. I can't even try to tell you about them or even the main characters because I really had no idea what they're like. I didn't know them. Plus, there are simply too many characters to keep up with. I finished the book not remembering anyone but a few main characters. The other characters are just names without faces, who come in here and there to keep the story going, coming to visit, only to disappear and come back almost a hundred pages later or something like that. The way the author tells us about them doesn't make them at all memorable. They're flat and lifeless. And there are just too many characters. Much more than I find necessary in a novel.
Not only did an excess of characters prevent me from enjoying the book, but also the constant switching of places. It seems the characters in this book are always going from somewhere to another. From this house to that, this city to that, this country to that. They move all the time and I found this very confusing. I didn't know where they are most of the time, and at one point, I decided I didn't care anymore.
And the length. My God, the length! 456 pages is no joke. I think I wouldn't have picked it up had I known it is this long. (Lesson learned!) I had been reading this book thoroughly and attentively until I was around 64% of the book, then I just lost my patient and skimmed all the way through until the end. I have to say I saw the "resolution" coming. Waiting for your partner to screw up (when you've been secretly misbehaving all the time) and using it as an excuse to end your marriage and then flee. As if your misconducts have been justified. Classic.
To sum it all up: I didn't like this book. I wish I hadn't read it at all. It's not for me.
This review is also posted on Goodreads.
This review is also posted on Goodreads.
A digital copy of this book was provided by JKS Communications for review and blog tour.