Gardens of Water

Alan Drew, Author . Random $24.95 (341p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6687-2

In Drew’s well-intentioned if overwrought first novel, cultures clash as a teenaged Kurdish girl and an American boy fall in love over the objection of the girl’s father, a Muslim Kurd living in Istanbul. Sinan, a shop owner, tries to keep his American upstairs neighbors, Marcus Hamm and his family, at arm’s length. But this is impossible after an earthquake devastates Istanbul, and Sinan and his family end up living in a tent city provided by American missionaries. Marcus, the director of a missionary school, lost his wife in the earthquake; she was found dead, shielding Sinan’s son, who was buried alive for three days before being rescued. Now, Sinan watches as his America-obsessed daughter, Irem, falls in love with Marcus’s bipolar son, Dylan, and his impressionable younger son, Ismail, slowly becomes converted to Christianity at the camp. The story moves inexorably toward a climax in which Sinan’s Muslim pride and Marcus’s Christian proselytizing collide with predictably tragic results. Though some may find the ideological conflict that provides the narrative thrust too textbookish, Drew, who lived in Istanbul at the time of the Marmara earthquake, effortlessly transports readers to a wrecked Istanbul and finds shards of hope in the mountains of rubble. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 10/15/2007
Release date: 02/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 551 pages - 978-1-4104-0871-6
Downloadable Audio - 1 pages - 978-1-4159-4676-3
Paperback - 354 pages - 978-0-8129-7844-5
Open Ebook - 281 pages - 978-1-58836-680-1
Compact Disc - 10 pages - 978-0-7393-5881-8
Hardcover - 338 pages - 978-0-7475-9365-2
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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