Overview: Twenty-eight years ago, Peter and Yvonne honeymooned in the beautiful coastal village of DatÇa, Turkey. Now Yvonne is a widow, her twin children grown. Hoping to immerse herself in memories of a happier time—as well as sand and sea—Yvonne returns to DatÇa. But her plans for a restorative week in Turkey are quickly complicated. Instead of comforting her, her memories begin to trouble her. Her vacation rental's landlord and his bold, intriguing wife—who share a curious marital arrangement—become constant uninvited visitors, in and out of the house.
Overwhelmed by the past and unexpectedly dislocated by the environment, Yvonne clings to a newfound friendship with Ahmet, a local boy who makes his living as a shell collector. With Ahmet as her guide, Yvonne gains new insight into the lives of her own adult children, and she finally begins to enjoy the shimmering sea and relaxed pace of the Turkish coast. But a devastating accident upends her delicate peace and throws her life into chaos—and her sense of self into turmoil.
With the crystalline voice and psychological nuance for which her work has been so celebrated, Vendela Vida has crafted another unforgettable heroine in a stunningly beautiful and mysterious landscape.
My Opinion: I love the idea behind this book about how Yvonne decides on going back to the place where she and her late husband honeymooned in order to remember how it was that time. I think that's very brave. Some people would choose to forget, but she chose to remember the feelings and hold on to the memories they bring.
I also love the truth that Vida showed about the people that her protagonist met in that foreign land - the culture, the art, the practices - both the positive and the negative... its all new to me. Its very informative. Although there are a lot of things I dont approve - like the use of heavy metaphors when the story can be fine without it? And often times I get disappointed by the passivity of the story. At one point, it became very boring and I cant even empathize anymore with the relationships she made with people... to Ozlem or even to Ahmet. Its simply lacking connection - or maybe it is made to be like that?
Anyway, this book may not appeal to everyone, and trust me - I fought my urge to abandon this book countless times, but I have to say - in all fairness to the author, this is one of the books I read that is nicely written.