Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Enlightenment by Maureen Freely

I am still not sure what to make of this book. I hated it at first because it seemed so scattered, but I eventually realized that was all part of the plan. By revealing facts slowly and out of order, Freely was able to give the reader a sense of the confusion of being an outsider in Cold War and contemporary Turkey. At times the two American protagonists seemed to combine into one person with a singular purpose, which I believe the author also meant to have happen. By halfway through the novel, I was compelled by the story and itching to know why no one would tell a straight story. The afterword, written by Suna, a minor-turned-major character/Turkish sociologist with always hidden motives, answered as many questions as it confused. I closed the book still wondering what exactly had happened, which I suspect is how Freely wanted me to feel. As an outsider, I will never be able to completely understand the situation, no matter how many pages back I turn or questions I ask, just like Miss M. Freely sure was good at controlling this reader's emotions.

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