A beautiful and thought-provoking story filled of hope, determination, and love. “The Dervish” by Frances Kazan is set right after WWI in Turkey amongst the turmoil of the falling Ottoman Empire. Distraught at the death of her husband, Mary travels half-way across the world to try to heal the grief over her loss. Not long after reaching her sister, whose husband works at the American Consulate, Mary has first-hand encounters with the rebellion brewing amongst the citizens. A chance encounter with a woman, and a small case of mistaken identity, throws Mary into the battle for Turkey’s freedom.
This book was a very enjoyable read, the main character’s perspective of the tumultuous situation in Turkey is well-written, and makes it difficult to pick a side in the revolution, which I think it is point the writer is trying to make. Nothing is clear-cut, right and wrong. The descriptions are marvelous; it makes you feel like you are walking the streets, breathing the spiced air.
My only problem with this book, and it isn’t a big issue, is how quickly the main character falls in love. There was no development, I guess it was a kind of love-at-first site thing, but I would have liked to read a little more development before she falls head-over-heels for someone.
I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in this region of the world, who likes period novels, and who likes some adventure!
A copy of this book was provided to me for my honest opinion.