My eyes were immediately drawn to the pristine cover of Gardens of Water by Alan Drew. I carefully picked the book up and sniffed it. Yes, I am a book sniffer. It smelled as good as it looked. As I read the dust cover I got the feeling that this book was special, going to be an important book. It was one of those aha book moments for me. I had been looking for something out of the normal and this proved to be just that and more.
Alan Drew was living and teaching in Istanbul in 1999 when the devastating Marmara earthquake hit the area. His research takes him to another level since he was living through this tragedy. His characters take on a life of their own. Some of them live within me and will haunt me forever. It is a story you will wish to reread over and over again.
Gardens of Water goes beyond race and is multi-generational. It is about family, survival, secret relationships, passion and tradition. The story races across the pages and the broken families while you are drawn compellingly along. You are learning about customs and history and government and change. Alan gives you such innate insight into the personalities of his characters. You are able to understand why they are so tormented.
I have been lucky enough to have been in touch with Alan and hope to meet him in the near future. He is delightful. I hope he is working on another book. I can not wait to read it.
Gardens of Water was added to Elaine Newton’s summer reading list and was short listed for her 2008-2009 lecture series. It has helped us as book sellers in SW Florida to hand sell this most important work of fiction.
I can not recommend this book strongly enough. Simply said, I loved it!