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Honor tells the story of several members of a Turkish-Kurdish family, extending over several generations and taking place in Turkey, the UK, and Abu Dhabi. It centers around Iskandar, a man about to be released from an English prison. His crime: the honor killing of his mother when he was a teenager. The novel weaves back and forth through time: from the birth of his mother, Pemba, and her twin, Jamila; to Iskandar's fleeing from his circumcision; to Pemba's marriage to Aden in a Kurdish village and their early years in London; to the youngest son's infatuation with a punk girl; to Aden's drinking, gambling, and eventual desertion; to Pemba's meetings with Elias; to young Aden's memories of his depressed mother; to Iskandar's prison experiences; and finally to a rather surprising conclusion.
If this sounds a bit complex and confusing, well, yes, it is at first. So many voices, so many stories, so much jumping around in time. But I got used to it and eventually sorted everyone out. Part of the reason for the odd chronology is, I'm sure, to make the point that events have an impact on future generations. For example, Aden was excessively indulged by his mother, and so was Iskandar, and both turned out to have little regard for the feelings of others. Pemba had seen a sister literally die of shame, yet she finds herself the object of an honor killing. The family has moved from Turkey to London, and the children live very modern lives, yet Iskandar gets caught up in the Muslim traditionalist movement. Once I sorted out the initial complications, I enjoyed making the connections in the various sections. I found the characters unique and compelling, and the two readers were both excellent. I look forward to reading more by Elif Shafak.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to Honor again? Why?
No, frustration with the recording.
What didn’t you like about Mozhan Marno and Piter Marik ’s performance?
First Mozhan and Piter Marik's performances were fine. I did not know how else to express how bad and careless I found the recording of the narrators. There were long pauses for no reason that were just the laziness of the engineer to pull the lines together. There was no care in the handling of the recording.
Any additional comments?
I really enjoy Elif Shaffak's books and this is the only one that neede some technical care.