Set across Istanbul and Oxford, from the 1980s to the present day, Three Daughters of Eve is a sweeping tale of faith and friendship, tradition and modernity, love and an unexpected betrayal.
Peri, a wealthy Turkish housewife and mother, is on her way to a dinner party at a seaside mansion in Istanbul when a beggar snatches her handbag. As she wrestles to get it back, a photograph falls to the ground - an old polaroid of three young women and their university professor. A relic from a past - and a love Peri had tried desperately to forget.
The photograph takes Peri back to Oxford University, as nineteen year old sent abroad for the first time. To her dazzling, rebellious Professor and his life-changing course on God. To the house she shares with her two best friends, Shirin and Mona, and their arguments about identity, Islam and feminism. And finally, to the scandal that tore them all apart.
Shirin, Peri and Mona, they were the most unlikely of friends. They were the Sinner, the Believer and the Confused.
A terrific book. Poetic, poignant, trenchant. (Ian Rankin)
An intelligent, fierce and beguiling read (Financial Times)
A thoughtful, charming book that offers a connection to other worlds, perspectives and possibilities (Sunday Times)
An intense, discursive and absorbing novel (Observer)
One of the most important writers at work today, Elif Shafak eloquently explores Turkey's tumultuous present and past. Her magnificent latest moves between Istanbul and Oxford in a fascinating exploration of faith and friendship, rich and poor, and the devastating clash of tradition and modernity (Independent)
A brilliant and moving novel. Elif Shafak writes about religion without superficiality or special pleading, retaining a sense of its impossible possibility or its possible impossibility. Three Daughters of Eve is a remarkable accomplishment (Richard Holloway)
Elif Shafak's writing leaps off the page. In Three Daughters of Eve she takes us spine-tinglingly right under the skin of three women, exposing the strains of friendship through love and loss. An utterly engrossing read. (Frances Osborne, bestselling author of The Bolter)
Shafak's topical 10th novel is both an interrogation and a defence of Muslim identity (Rebecca Rose Financial Times)
Luscious, heartbreaking, completely absorbing. It is a full-blown saga of emotion and character, straddling countries, cultures and languages, exploring its women's ambitions and desires; and at the same time a steady-eyed examination of the nameless rules - of femininity, duty, belief and behaviour - that keep us in line and under control. This is an absolutely consuming novel about women who know what they want, and a warning about the price we pay, written with the fluency and depth of an author at the very top of her game. (Bidisha)
Exuberant, epic and comic, fantastical and realistic . . . like all good stories it conveys deeper meanings about human experience (Financial Times on 'The Architect's Apprentice')