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Moscow, Russia
  • Location: Istanbul

Last Letter from Istanbul

Last Letter from Istanbul

Why a Booktrail?

1921: Post war Istanbul and the scars are very hard to erase

  • ISBN: 978-0008169077
  • Genre: Fiction, Historical

What you need to know before your trail

Each day Nur gazes across the waters of the Bosphorus to her childhood home, a grand white house, nestled on the opposite bank.

It’s no longer her home however – it has been transformed into an army hospital. And as Nur weaves through the streets , she’s reminded of how far her she and her city have fallen.

The most precious thing in Nur’s new life is the orphan in her care – a boy with a terrible secret. When he falls dangerously ill Nur’s world becomes entwined with the enemy’s. She must return to where she grew up, and plead for help from Medical Officer George Monroe.

 

Travel Guide

Istanbul

The story is set in the aftermath of the First World War in Istanbul in 1921.  This novel shows the life of those left behind – the women who feel like imposters and second class citizens in their own country and city. Nur is shocked and saddened at having had to flee her home and see it turn into a military hospital. She’s there in the city which is no longer hers, with a child to look after who holds a dangerous secret.

” As they cross the great channel of the Bosphorus she watches the shore of Asia approach and feels her skin prickle like someone about to commit a crime. Upon the opposite bank, growing visible now, is the white house.”

The war has changed everything:

When the war came, the city forgot how to feed the people who lived in it.”

Everyday new inhabitants arrive, fleeing the ongoing consequences of the Great War, the revolution in Russia. Dispossessed, desperate. Regular flurries of chaos at the quays.”

The invading soldiers

“Their uniforms are clean but she sees them drenches in blood. How many men have you killed, she asks, silently….”

“The city has revealed itself asa turncoat; it does not care for them for all they have lost. It will endure after those who live within it now perish.”

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

A story of unrequited love, amidst the horrors of war. The backdrop to this as a character as well as a story is the city of Constantinople under occupation after World War 1.

The descriptions of the city are raw yet lyrical, the descriptions of war brutal yet brilliantly evocative and detailed. Hard to read in parts due to the obvious reality of it all.Men are are capable of some awful things. The characters, as varied as a small Turkish boy and a Scottish doctor make this a rich tapestry of a historical read.

It is a slow read and builds up a dramatic picture of war and humanity by the end. I liked the way it was written from the perspective of four people as this story of love amidst a landscape of conflicting cultures and how it tries to survive.

The ending in particular I found quite poignant and the book itself left me feeling quite melancholy and pondering about what I’d just read. Lucy Foley is a very effective writer and it’s definately worth reading through until the end , until you see the bigger picture.

And then plan your holiday to Istanbul with this (on kindle or when it comes out in paperback!)

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  Last Letter from Istanbul

Destination : Istanbul  Author/Guide: Lucy Foley  Departure Time: 1921

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