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By Romancing the Book



          This is my one hundred and fifty fourth review. Yet, I'm sitting here intimidated to write my thoughts and feelings about The Turkish Affair. Why is that? Have you read the author's biography or read any of her interviews? I typically don't get awestruck but this is my third J. Arlene Culiner novel and I'm dumbstruck. She is a marvel. A cut above the rest. A class act. Hopefully you get my point that she's a brilliant writer and has led an admirable life. She doesn't even own a TV according to one interview I read. I can't imagine.

          There isn't anything remarkable about the life I've led. I'm living a good one but certainly not anything extraordinary. Needless to say, I'm not feeling worthy to write a review for The Turkish Affair but here goes nothing.

          Above all else, though, I have to say… go buy the book! To quote NIKE “Just do it”. There isn't a book of the past 153 that I've read that compares to the quality and quantity of research presented in a realistic and entertaining manner that I found in The Turkish Affair. The details provided are eloquently implemented with such polish that one can't help but feel like they are present with the characters. With that said I don't have a desire to go on a Turkish tour. I love my modern-day comforts too much.

          In regards to the characters, they are splendid. I had to read slowly and pay attention to follow the suspense/mystery. I was riveted to my seat from beginning to end, trying to guess who was stealing the artifacts because I was suspicious of everyone. The best thing - I was surprised at the end. I didn't find the plot predictable at all because I was too busy trying to figure out why certain characters were hostile to others and who could be trusted.

          The romance between Renaud and Anne was complicated by outside forces but they couldn't resist each other. There are many plot threads woven in synchrony between who is corrupt, who is telling the truth and the desire for Renaud and Anne to be together. I was thoroughly engaged in trying to comprehend and anticipate what would happen next.

          On a side note, I woke up and declared this day was going to be a “do nothing” day so that I could sit on the couch and read. My husband woke up and declared that this would be the day we'd go mattress shopping because he was not going to sleep another night on our deplorable mattress. I was rather annoyed. Thankfully the matter was settled rather quickly and I was back on the couch in a matter of a couple of hours. I spent the entire time mattress shopping reviewing in my head what I had read so far. It's that kind of book, nearly impossible to put down and impossible to get out of my head.

          Now that I've finished reading it, I'm still thinking about certain scenes. I'm very particular in my requirements that an author ties up those loose threads, so accepting it as written is a rare event. I don't think it would have been realistic for the author to wrap up the ending with a neat and tidy bow. Not when the story takes place in another country where the guilty would need to be extradited and especially when the author wants to keep the story genuine and authentic. Without giving any spoilers, I can what really matters most - Renaud and Anne did receive their happily ever after.

          In conclusion, I will repeat myself. Go buy the book!.


The Turkish Affair

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