10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World
Tequila Leila, a prostitute in Istanbul, Turkey, is murdered and left for dead in a dumpster. As her heart stops, her mind reflects on the past and the moments that made her what she was, and the five friends she made along the way. We journey across the Cold War Turkey. From conservative Van, Turkey; a long way away from the glittering metropolis of Istanbul. To the abuse and rape by a powerful uncle whom the family is afraid to confront. Through Leila’s eyes, we see the world change yet remain the same.
This book really feels like two books in one. The first part is spectacular, getting to see a country change through one person’s eyes. A person who is thought of as unimportant. The second half of the book feels completely different. It is about the aftermath of Leila’s death and the reaction from her friends, as her family has shunned her for a long time. It does not feel as powerful or as moving. It often feels like the ground we have already gone over before in the first part. I can see why it was nominated for the Booker Prize as it is a very good book.
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