Set in Constantinople in the dying days of the Ottoman empire, Halide’s Gift is the story of a family with a secret, and a society in turbulent transition. At the heart of Frances Kazan’s beguiling novel are two sisters — one flamboyant and mischievous, the other shy and full of dreams — bound by an extraordinary friendship and torn apart by their love of radically different men. In the tradition of Tracy Chevalier’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, Halide’s Gift is an intimate portrait of a young woman of restrained passions and fiercely independent mind. A vibrant fusion of history and fiction, it tells the story of the legendary Halide Edib, the daughter of Sultan Abdulhamid’s first secretary, whose allegiance to the spiritual and traditional world of her mother and grandmother was destined to collide with the tantalizing promise of freedom.
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