Bliss by O Z Livaneli

Bliss

O Z Livaneli

Meryem's story is shocking, alien and very moving - yet this is just one strand of a complex and eventually uplifting tale. I found this a fascinating book - the horrors of Meryem's rape and the brutality of Cemal's war are never forgotten - but gradually their lives are transformed as they travel with Irfan and learn to live with the past.

Extract

So Meryem's head was covered. With a scarf on her head and every inch of her body enveloped in thick clothes, none of which she was allowed to remove, she sweated out her punishment in the heat of the sun .... On the day she stepped into womanhood, she also understood why she had no mother. Her mother must have received her punishment by dying in childbirth. God would not have punished her if he had created her a man, because then she could not have given birth and died.

Parallels
  • My Name is Salma by Fadia Faqir
  • The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak

Books with similar mood

The Bay of Naples

Alan Clews

Heatstroke

Hazel Barkworth

Two Women

Marianne Fredriksson

The Hundred Wells of Salaga

Ayesha Harruna Attah

Song for an Approaching Storm

Peter Fröberg Idling

The Mussel Feast

Birgit Vanderbeke

Small Wars

Sadie Jones

Sleeper's Wake

Alistair Morgan

Echoes from the Dead

Johan Theorin

The Human Stain

Philip Roth

Nightingale Point

Luan Goldie

You Will Be Safe Here

Damian Barr

Speak No Evil

Uzodinma Iweala

Stay With Me

Ayòbámi Adébáyò

All the Living

C E Morgan

In a Strange Room

Damon Galgut

The Island of Lost Souls

Martyn Bedford

Our Horses in Egypt

Rosalind Belben

Moses, Citizen and Me

Delia Jarrett-Macauley

The Optimists

Andrew Miller

An Empty Room

Talitha Stevenson

Darwin's Children

Greg Bear

Double Vision

Pat Barker

A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You

Amy Bloom

The Long Home

William Gay

Yuki Means Happiness

Alison Jean Lester

Cove

Cynan Jones

Wolf Winter

Cecilia Ekback

All is Silence

Manuel Rivas

The Last Tiger

Tony Black

The Forgiven

Lawrence Osborne

Canada

Richard Ford

The Book of Fate

Parinoush Saniee

Vault - An Anti-novel

David Rose

The Godless Boys

Naomi Wood

The Memory of Love

Aminatta Forna

A Disobedient Girl

Ru Freeman

American Rust

Philipp Meyer

Sardines and Oranges: Short Stories from North Africa

Latifa Baqa and others

In the Country of Men

Hisham Matar

Fragrant Harbour

John Lanchester

The Eskimo in the Net

Gerard Beirne

Birthday Letters

Ted Hughes

Outside Valentine

Liza Ward

Your Face Tomorrow 2: Dance and Dream

Javier Marias

The Parisian

Isabella Hammad

In the Distance

Hernan Diaz

Born on a Tuesday

Elnathan John

Out in the Open

Jesús Carrasco