After the stillbirth of their son Americans Joy and Richard are devastated and unable to cope with it.
The story is told over four periods in their lives and when they are in hotelrooms: Hotelrooms in Grenada, New York, Istanbul and in Tunisia. The story is laced with historic and geographical facts. Somewhere in the book life is compared to being in a hotelroom. You are only there for a short while and best make the best of what you get.
I found the book interesting in how it describes how people react different to experiencing huge personal grief. How speaking very briskly about things can give someone the feeling the other does not care, how someone can feel the need for someone to just love him, how the world can be a different place afterwards. It definitely is a book with depth. And I can recommend it for people who are in a situation like this to use as a tool to discuss things. Also a good one for a book club.
I did have trouble with the reasoning by Belinda to take a certain step (that I will not mention due to spoilers danger). It sounded unbelievable to me that someone would plan to do something like that.
I liked the setting in the different countries. I have spend a summer in Istanbul and two holidays in Tunisia so it felt like a feast of rediscovery as we say here in Holland. I saw another reviewer say the historic references were too elaborate. I do not agree. History is hardly mentioned and the colour locale is a nice background for the story.
However in the Turkish part I did encounter some errors. The Bosporus is not a river: it is a seastrait: salt water and ocean liners going from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean and vice versa and all. It is also mentioned that Roxelana the favourite wife of sultan Suleyman killed her oldest child so Selim could be sultan. Prince Mustafa was killed by orders of his father and it remains unclear if his wife had a role in that but most importantly it is not her son but the son of the first kadin of Suleyman from the days before he fell in love with Roxelana. It is said that her third son killed himself out of grief when his half brother was strangled. It is true a son of Roxelana was killed: Beyazit but that was after her death and also by orders of the sultan.
I received a free copy to write an honest review. The book will be out on the 20th of November 201.