Published By: Picador

Book Category: Fiction,

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Reviewed by Wendy Hines

Dervishes is a beautifully written novel set against the backdrop of Turkey. The writer does such a great job of describing the scenes without overwhelming the reader.

It is about an American family who has been transferred to Turkey by the U.S. Government. The father is an Ambassador, and they move frequently. He sometimes spends months away from his wife and daughter for business–and he is very secretive.

Canada is just your average twelve-year-old girl. Well, as average as she can be with moving frequently and learning new languages. She quickly makes a new friend and is soon learning her way around the city and observing her surroundings.

Grace struggles to find her place, as well as be a wife and mother. Trying to fit in with the other wives left behind by their traveling husbands, she soon spends her days drinking and socializing.

Before long, Grace and Canada seem to be growing apart while they struggle to find their place in this strange world. Disgusted with one another during the hot summer months, Grace and Canada move out beyond the local swimming pools and parties–into the city. But neither is quite prepared to maneuver on her own in Turkey, and they are soon adrift in a civilization they can’t possibly grasp.

As the plot develops, the cultural differences between East and West begin to alter the storyline. With well-developed characters, a well-crafted plot, and a surprise ending, this story is an enjoyable read.

Beth Helms does a superb job with her first debut novel. I will be recommending this beautiful written novel to my friends.

Armchair Interview agrees.

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