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A breath-taking novel about a violent secret that threatens the peace of two interwoven families - now a Penguin Essential.

One rainy afternoon in Istanbul, a nineteen year old, unmarried woman walks into a doctor's surgery. 'I need to have an abortion,' she announces.

Twenty years later, Asya Kazanci lives with her extended family in Istanbul. All the Kazanci men die in their early forties, victims of the mysterious family curse, so it is a house of women. Among them are Asya's beautiful, rebellious mother, her clairvoyant aunt, and their hopelessly hypochondriac sister. Into the midst for this madhouse comes Asya's feisty American cousin, and she's bringing long-hidden family secrets connected with Turkey's turbulent past in her wake . . .

Longlisted for the 2008 Orange Fiction Prize

Reviews

A writer whose artistry matches her ambition . . . she has taken on a subject of deep moral consequence

New York Times

Unquestionably an ambitious book, exuberant and teeming . . . a novel crammed with characters and themes, not unlike Istanbul itself

Guardian

Wonderfully magical, incredible, breathtaking . . . will have you gasping with disbelief in the last few pages

Sunday Express

Heartbreaking . . . the beauty of Islam pervades Shafak's book

Vogue

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780241986448

    September 3, 2019

    Viking

    368 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Paperback

    9780241972908

    June 24, 2015

    Penguin General UK

    368 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

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