Thursday, July 12, 2012
The Oracle of Stamboul by David Michael Lukas is the set in the late 1800's when the Ottoman Empire was working it way towards modernity in its own fashion. The story is centered around Eleonora Cohen, a Jew of Constanta, She was born on a very auspicious day surrounded by unusual circumstances. Her father encourages her to read a young age, and she devours all bits of education at a frighteningly fast pace. Through the story Eleonora makes it to Stamboul, meets an American professor, Monself Bey, her father's business associate, and the Sultan. Beyond the plot, the story has beautiful descriptions of emotion and location. One favorite line was, "erased from the book of life and marooned on an exotic island in the middle of the ocean." Additionally as one reads, they will see a repeated theme around birds, which seem to echo many of the themes in the story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and loved that the authored lingered here and there at ornate descriptions, while moving quickly at other times to keep a nice tempo in the reading.