Beautifully written and a quick, lovely read. I enjoyed all the cultural details and description of lush scenery. It was sometimes hard to tell who was speaking in dual conversations, but this did not bother me enough to affect my rating of the book very much (maybe .5 point off). Recommended!
In 1950's (?) Turkey, in a remote village, a young woman, Nurdane, hand-weaves traditional rugs that are rumored to be like the rugs of no other weaver. One of Nurdane's rugs, as a dowry gift, will supposedly bring the bride luck and fertility. However, Nurdane herself, painfully afflicted by polio, seems doomed never to be a bride herself. Superstition holds that if ever a man touches her, she will lose the gift that Allah has placed in her hands.
However, not one but two men are fascinated with the weaver - a western anthropologist in search of a rug to take back home, and the educated doctor who has treated Nurdane's crippled legs for years.
This book is Payne's first novel, and the characters and the twists of the plot are well-crafted and effective. However, the writing can seem a bit awkward or overdone at times. I feel that future books by the author may be even better....
A young lady, Nurdane, whose name means "piece of light" lives in a very remote village in Turkey. She suffers from polio and has to wear braces on her legs to get around. Her mother died in childbirth. Her father instills the idea that "when Allah takes something from you, he gives you something in return." Here he is referring to her hands which can weave beautiful rugs, rugs which folks believe can bring about miracles and answer prayers. They are highly sought after and many place bids on them to try to obtain one for their daughter as a dowry. Her doctor has been secretly in love with her for years and plans to marry her once she completes this last rug. But the doctor brings with him an American digger who is looking for signs that at one time women were the leaders in society and worshiped a Goddess. When Nurdane and Hennessey meet, they find themselves comfortable in each other's company, being able to talk freely among themselves. It is on the day of Nurdane's supposed wedding that Hennessey finds out about the arranged marriage between the doctor and Nurdane and he has difficulty accepting it as fate. Finally Nurdane makes her choice.
I enjoyed learning about weaving and the culture of Turkey. I had no problem understanding who was speaking due to the way the writer wrote. Turkey at this time is not an easy country for women or girls and their remote village has advantages as well as disadvantages. If Ms. Payne writes another book, I would be eager to read it.
This was such a beautifully written book, and one which I thought very inspirational. It was interesting understanding how some of the Middle Eastern carpets are designed and woven, and how much work goes into them. I especially loved the way the characters were developed and how a little girl's inner strength pulled her from being a servant in the family to owning a successful business in her own right.
This is a book worth listening to and I bet it worth reading as well. I listened to it and found the narrator pleasant to the ears. The story was compelling. At one point in the middle, I wondered, why are we now hearing about this man, Hennessy. Then the 2 stories come together and it is well worth the wait. I highly recommend that you listen to this book, while you wait for all the pieces to come together.
The story of a Turkish woman who is a weaver of fantastic magical rugs. Interesting historical and cultural information tho romantic element didn't work for me.
The idea of the Goddess as the leader of civilizations wasn't new to me, but added the most interesting element.