Judy Light Ayyildiz Forty Thorns

ISBN 13: 9789751414748

Forty Thorns

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9789751414748: Forty Thorns

A kaleidoscopic of Turkish history, blending past with present and centering on 60 critical years in the evolution of Ataturk's modern Turkey, as seen through the eyes of a woman of great spirit, the remarkable Adalet, whose epic story parallels her nation s struggle riddled with wars, heroes, heroines, intense romantic adventures, dramatic change and the ongoing contest for women's rights.

Her struggle is survival for the sake of tomorrow, but how long can she continue in the name of love? In a saga that sweeps her from the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic and all across Anatolia and back, Adalet grapples tremendous change. Her's is the universal 20th century woman's dilemma of repeatedly repositioning herself. Forced out from the western provinces of the weakening Ottoman Empire and into the heart of Anatolia and the establishment of the new Turkish Republic, Adalet embodies both the dreams and struggles of today's woman. She is disowned for her love. She fights for the new ideals of tomorrow and for her children. She is engendered by war and an era that gave Turkish women a secular voice even before much of the West. But she never is able to buck the traditions and dilemmas faced by a woman determined to own her independence. Adalet was born into the grace and education of comfortable Ottoman society, where European ideals fostered the uprising of the Young Turks. She is one of the many builders as wives and mothers of the new state whose bold pride secured a revolution. As Adalet's life folds dreams into deception, love into rejection and birth into loss, it is her inner strength, a spirit forged in both East and West that stands down and rebuilds from the deception, vice, jealousy, rejection and the loss of one child and the death of another. Can she find the inner strength she needs? In a collision of the mystic East with the pragmatic West, the fantastic tales of Adalet's story connect as intricately as designs in a magic carpet. She moves from harem to skyscraper, from star-crossed girl who elopes with the blacksmith's son to a governor's wife to a divorcee who finds herself penniless by mid-life. Can she outlive the losses? Will her spirit prevail?

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From the Author:

Author's Note
 
Being married into another culture has shown me dimensions I could never have known otherwise. I combine my lifelong commitment to the enabling of strong women with all of my experiences and writing. I have just completed a historical novel that is in search of publication. On the stage of world events, we often see the secular Turkey in the spotlight. Built on the ashes of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey in 1923 mirrored a West that was rather indifferent to it. And yet, in an incredibly short period of time under the leadership of Ataturk, Turkey had managed to crawl up out of the shambles of conflict into a productive and progressive republic with Western ideals. Today, Americans are curious to know more about this complex democracy on the crossroads of East and West. Through the eyes of Adalet, my novel, Forty Thorns unfolds one remarkable woman's role and point of view throughout this dramatic evolution of her life and country.
     To my knowledge, a novel of this spectrum about Anatolia and Thrace has not been written in the West.
     Forty Thorns presents a kaleidoscopic scheme of Turkish history, blending the past with the present and centering on 100 critical years in the evolution of modern Turkey.
This is a saga seen through the eyes of a remarkable woman named Adalet, who tells her tales though the memory and imagination of her American daughter-in-law, Lee. After Adalet's death, Lee works out her grief by contemplating Adalet's request of her:  Tell my life's story for posterity.
     A privileged granddaughter of an aga in Ottoman Thrace, Adalet, at age ten, takes flight from the personal devastation of the Balkan Wars. At fifteen--for romantic love and adventure--she defies her family to elope with the blacksmith's son. Mystically inclined Adalet, who dreams of being a writer living in Paris, finds herself on the path of immediate and national revolution. Adalet's journey is on the fringe of World War One, the Allied Occupation, and The Great Offensive. It contains heroes, heroines, intense romantic adventures, and births. As the wife of a government official, as a teacher who abhors prejudice and needless war, and as a mother of seven children, Adalet is an active part of Turkey's cultural revolution and the ongoing contest for women's rights. Her tumultuous married life stumbles through Turkey's painful metamorphosis from the crumbling empire to the new republic led by the heroic Ataturk. Laced with vivid scenes and particular details of the exotic culture, Adalet's epic-riddled life winds back and forth through Anatolia, Istanbul, and Thrace. Although her saga includes children's deaths, love's betrayal, and divorce and destitution, Adalet's greatness of spirit in spite of her time and place parallels her nation's struggle. Ultimately, she finds wholeness and security within herself. 
     In between Adalet's stories, narrator Lee ponders the social and political realm of the Turkish Republic. The old tangled confrontations between Turkey's educated and uneducated, the country's various religious and ethnic groups, and the defenders of the democratic ideals of the republic still exist, although modified. Lee also observes the personal dynamics of her Turkish clan. There's an obvious change in attitude since the matriarch's death. Greed and jealousy undermine family ties.
     Lee's leads her to understand that the nature of Adalet's strength is the strong earth mother will to survive, a quality without cultural boundaries. Lee recognizes truths such as the power of steadfast faith and the ongoing worldwide struggle against patriarchy. She better understands herself as she unfolds the common elements of the close and unusual bonds that she shared with Adalet in spite of their differences in age, background, and culture.

From the Back Cover:

"Forty Thorns is a sensual feast, bright,colorful, and exotic. Based on the life of Judy Light Ayyildiz' beloved Turkishmother in law, Adalet shines forth as a heroine for all times, and all women."
--Katie Letcher Lyle, author of Friends in High Placesand 20 other books.
 
 
Turkey's oldest publisher, Remzi Book House (RemziKitabevi), published the novel, Forty Thorns, in 12/12 inIstanbul, their first novel in a native English version. They alsoreleased  a Turkish translation. FortyThorns became available for national distribution in the U. S. 7/12.
 
336pp softcover,10th book ofauthor-educator, and writing workshop leader, Judy Light Ayyildiz 

 
 

 
 
                                                         
 
Forty Thorns, an epic tale about the rise ofmodern Turkey, is based on the intimate oral memoir of Adalet, a strong,passionate woman who lived from the crumbling Ottomans into the present era.This narrative blends past and present within a war-torn love story, achronicle of one brave woman and her singular place in the universal strugglefor self-determination and women's rights. It is also an account of Adalet'senduring bond with her American daughter-in-law, a writer driven to search forthe source of Adalet's strength.
 
Of interest in Women Studies,Literature, History, Middle East Studies, and Social Sciences

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