Have you ever started a book, read a few chapters, felt like you knew what the book was about only to figure out later that you actually had no idea what the book was really about?! I remember Hannah asking me what the Last Train to Istanbul was about and I told her it was the story of two Turkish sisters who lived during the second World War and while that was true to an extent, the book was about so much more than two sisters!
As it turned out this was a work of historical fiction which I did not realize when I started the novel. Ayse Kulin is a well-known and beloved Turkish author and in this book she told the story of Turkish officials who used whatever means necessary to protect Turkish Jews living outside of Turkey in German occupied areas during World War II.
Just like Hannah talked about in her last blog post, Feel What You are Feeling, this story made me feel sadness, loneliness, anticipation, sympathy, excitement, love, horror, anxiety, the list goes on. Kulin pulled me into the lives of her characters, made me care about each one, while brilliantly weaving their lives together into a single narrative of survival, struggle, courage, and perseverance. I can honestly say this book is one of the best WWII narratives that I have read in recent years. It tells a story that few Americans know which, in my opinion, makes it that much more intriguing and worthwhile reading.
If you’d like to read something that helps you to Feel What You are Feeling but don’t feel up to poetry or it’s just not your thing, this narrative may be a good alternative.
Read on my friends!