July 14, 2012
Today this blog is hosting a stop (in the form of a review) on the Blog Tour for
TURQUOISE A Love Story
By Ayshe Talay-Ongon
Paperback, 441 pages
Published February 2012 by Sid Harta Publishers
Note: A copy of this novel was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley for purpose of review.
Turquoise: A Love Story by Ayshe Talay-Ongon is a love story with a very cosmopolitan flair. While the central focus is
events in this novel take place in countries spanning the globe. The story is set in the 1970’s and 1980’s; a
very tumultuous time for relations between those from Turkey and Armenia resulting in acts of
violence and bloodshed. Our heroine,
Yasmin, is a very confident, highly educated and independent person full of
resilience to the difficult conditions and situations surrounding her; quite
reminiscent of today’s “modern woman”.
She has grown up in Turkey,
and lived in New York City
Yasmin is prone to superfluous relationships and one night stands; in her never ending quest to find “Mr. Right”. Through a chance encounter, she runs into a friend from school days and her husband. She immediately feels as if she has met her soulmate; albeit an unattainable one who happens to be married to one of her best friends. The three develop a very close relationship in which Yasmin spends much of her time with the couple and their young son. The fact that they are Armenians poses no obstacle to their friendship, despite hate crimes and strife between the two nationalities at that point in time. Yasmin and her friend never even gave those prejudices a thought back in their school days; nor do they now.
When her close friends move back to
better employment opportunities; Yasmin has much soul searching to do. Her flings grow ever more self destructive,
in her attempts to forget the man her heart belongs to; who belongs to another.
As her parents and brother have moved
back to the United States;
her father being a Turkish diplomat; Yasmin decides to give California a try and see if she can find
those ever elusive roots she is yearning to put down. She becomes caught up in a desperate, yet
futile search for a sense of fulfillment, of belonging while knowing all the
while that it eludes her; that her soul mate is unattainable.
She establishes a place for herself in
California; and experiences triumphs and
tragedies. At last, she propels herself
into a loveless marriage, for the sake of security. In an attempt to fill the ever aching void
within her; she adopts a baby girl from her home country of Turkey. Life in California falls into a stable yet
emotionally tormenting routine for Yasmine.
Her daughter becomes the focus of her life and they develop a very strong
mother daughter bond; much like that which Yasmine and her own mother share.
Eventually the stress of living a lie starts to take its toll on Yasmine and her soul mate, whose marriage is none too happy, either. Truth has to be faced and life-changing decisions must be made.
This book has the feel of a “reality tv soap opera” both in conversation and detail, but that should appeal to today’s audience, I believe.