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Download Gardens of Water: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Gardens of Water: A Novel, by Alan Drew Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,016 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alan Drew Narrator: Mark Bramhall Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Powerful, emotional, and beautifully written, Alan Drew’s stunning first novel brings to life two unforgettable families—one Kurdish, one American—and the sacrifice and love that bind them together.

In a small town outside Istanbul, Sinan Basioglu, a devout Muslim, and his wife, Nilüfer, are preparing for their nine-year-old son’s coming-of-age ceremony. Their headstrong fifteen-year-old daughter, Irem, resents the attention her brother, Ismail, receives from their parents. For her, there was no such festive observance—only the wrapping of her head in a dark scarf and strict rules that keep her hidden away from boys and her friends. But even before the night of the celebration, Irem has started to change, to the dismay of her Kurdish father. What Sinan doesn’t know is that much of her transformation is due to her secret relationship with their neighbor, Dylan, the seventeen-year-old American son of expatriate teachers.

Irem sees Dylan as the gateway to a new life, one that will free her from the confines of conservative Islam. Yet the young man’s presence and Sinan’s growing awareness of their relationship affirms Sinan’s wish to move his family to the safety of his old village, a place where his children would be sheltered from the cosmopolitan temptations of Istanbul, and where, as the civil war in the south wanes, he hopes to raise his children in the Kurdish tradition.

But when a massive earthquake hits in the middle of the night, the Basioglu family is faced with greater challenges. Losing everything, they are forced to forage for themselves, living as refugees in their own country. And their survival becomes dependent on their American neighbors, to whom they are unnervingly indebted. As love develops between Irem and Dylan, Sinan makes a series of increasingly dangerous decisions that push him toward a betrayal that will change everyone’s lives forever.

The deep bonds among father, son, and daughter; the tension between honoring tradition and embracing personal freedom; the conflict between cultures and faiths; the regrets of age and the passions of youth—these are the timeless themes Alan Drew weaves into a brilliant fiction debut.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tara | 2/14/2014

    " Gardens of Water is a really interesting look at the dynamic between Kurdish Muslims and Westerners. It's set in Turkey during a devastating earthquake that displaces many poor Kurds into refugee camps run by American missionaries. The story is told from Sinan's point of view - a religious Muslim (though not a fundamentalist) who simultaneously relates to and needs one particular American's help while also hating him and his beliefs. It's an engrossing story and provides an insightful perspective on the delicate and volatile relationship between Westerners and the Middle East. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sara | 2/4/2014

    " This is a sad and heart-wrenching book that powerfully explores the interface between traditional and modern societies, family loyalty, religious conviction, and cultural upheaval. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Noreen | 1/29/2014

    " I liked this book, but not nearly as much as some of the other readers at the Merc, who thought it was oe of the best things they'd read all year. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Amanda Lewis | 1/27/2014

    " (audio book) Wow, this was fascinating. Turkey in the not too distant past, a family caught between old ways and new ways. Really powerful! "

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