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Honour by Elif Şafak
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Honour

by Elif Şafak

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English (15)  Dutch (2)  Catalan (2)  German (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
A novel about a killing within a muslim family in London, this novel has the capacity to constantly surprise the reader. Just when you think it has given up all its secrets, more emerge. It’s dense in detail without sacrificing readability, and the narrative switches between characters, giving them all time in the spotlight, and developing some sub-plots that were gripping in themselves (Jamila and the bandit in particular). Not an author I’d heard of before, but I would definitely read more of her work. ( )
  jayne_charles | Jun 6, 2019 |
Quite an extraordinary book. The books by Turkish authors that I've read before have had such an overlay of melancholy that it was difficult to differentiate between one person'a misery and another. Ms Shafak is several tiers higher in talent. Each of her characters, however mystical or alien to my background, is clearly delineated and understandable in the context of his or her life. Occasional gems of close to perfect descriptions of a movement only add to the overall mood. The core of this history of three generations of one family is the women -- how they live and die -- and how one is killed by a male relative for honor. Altho I doubt I will ever sympathize with that motivation, I now believe I understand it at least a bit better. I look forward to reading this author's other books over time. ( )
  abycats | May 11, 2018 |
(8.5)This is a book of our times. I feel, one that helps understanding of other cultures and the difficulties experienced assimilating into different societies. The story kept me reading late into the night and the author managed to pull off a few twists in the plot along the way.
I will seek more books by this writer. ( )
  HelenBaker | May 6, 2018 |
The novel begins with a woman driving to pick up her brother on his release from prison. She's deeply ambivalent, and the novel then goes back in time; to Iskander's time in prison, to the months before he commits the crime, and farther back to the childhoods of their parents in Turkey, especially that of his mother, Pembe, who grows up in a small Kurdish village with her twin sister, who doesn't emigrate to England, but remains behind, unmarried and respected as being the closest thing that area has to a doctor.

Şafak varies the writing in the novel, with the Kurdish and Turkish portions reading like unfamiliar folktales and the parts set in London written in a more straightforward style. This is a novel about immigrants and their children, how they change in response to their new home and how they refuse to change, and how their children juggle two very different worlds.

This was an interesting and thought-provoking book. At times I was frustrated with the hypocrisy built into the patriarchal society the characters come from, but the writing was lovely and the issues and questions raised never took precedence over the characters. ( )
  RidgewayGirl | Oct 28, 2016 |
Definitely liked this better than The Bastard of Istanbul, although I still do need to reread that one to remember. Honor was completely engrossing, except for some parts toward the end that were needlessly descriptive and a little boring. In the last third of the book the plot has really sped up, we've been given most of the pieces and are starting to see how they fit together, and it doesn't make sense to spend entire lengthy paragraphs detailing the contents of Jamila's cellar.

This is a book about misogyny, so for me there was no happy ending, though the plot itself resolved in a mostly satisfying way. I hated most of the main characters, basically the whole family except Esma and Yunus. That's not fair of me, because I know perfectly well how patriarchy controls people, how you internalize those beliefs when you grow up in that system. My head doesn't blame them for how their culture shaped them, but my gut can't help hating them for embodying it. I do appreciate Shafak's straightforward portrayal of it all. You never get the sense that she's excusing or vilifying anyone; she presents patriarchy as it exists, so people who feel differently about it than I do would probably read this and have a different experience.
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
With Honour, her ninth novel, her fourth written in English and her first set in London, Shafak joins the growing canon of authors who chart the rich imagined routes of a nomadic city formed by global power-shifts, and the ebbs and flows of human traffic passing through London. She joins writers such as Hanif Kureishi, Zadie Smith, Monica Ali, Aamer Hussein, Andrea Levy, Hanan al-Shakyh and Leila Aboulela, who offer us fictional glimpses of London's Others......A whole host of minor characters appear, from zany Caribbean hairdresser Rita to Zeeshan the mystic; too many for much more than broad-brush characterisation. There are a few minor historical glitches in Shafak's portrait of 1970s subcultural life, but only picky Londoners of a certain age will notice.Inconsistencies in characterisation are more troubling than those in historical research.
 
Shafak is an extremely popular novelist in Turkey, particularly loved by young, educated and newly independent women who appreciate her fusion of feminism and Sufism, her disarmingly quirky characters and the artful twists and turns of her epic romances.... In everything she writes, she sets out to dissolve what she regards as false narratives. In this one, it's the story of the "honour killing" as we know it from those shock headlines. The book calls to mind The Color Purple in the 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 globalising, is as hopeful as it is politically sophisticated. This alone should gain her the world audience she has long deserved.
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elif Şafakprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cunill, AïdaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pons Pradilla, SilviaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ventosa, NúriaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
From the Orange Prize long-listed and award-winning author of The Forty Rules of Love and The Bastard of Istanbul Elif Shafak, Honour is a novel of love, betrayal and clash of cultures.

'My mother died twice. I promised myself I would not let her story be forgotten'

And so begins the story of Esma a young Kurdish woman in London trying to come to terms with the terrible murder her brother has committed. Esma tells the story of her family stretching back three generations; back to her grandmother and the births of her mother and Aunt in a village on the edge of the Euphrates. Named Pembe and Jamila, meaning Pink and Beautiful rather than the names their mother wanted to call them, Destiny and Enough, the twin girls have very different futures ahead of them all of which will end in tragedy on a street in East London in 1978.

A powerful, brilliant and moving account of murder, love and family set in a Kurdish village, Istanbul and London.

'Vivid storytelling... that explores the darkest aspects of faith and love' Sunday Telegraph

'
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Leaving her twin sister behind, Pembe leaves Turkey for love--following her husband Adem to London. There the Topraks hope to make new lives for themselves and their children. Yet, no matter how far they travel, the traditions and beliefs the Topraks left behind stay with them--carried in the blood.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0670921157, 0670921165

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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