Honor is a novel about twin sisters—one who marries and moves to London and the other who stays behind in their Turkish village—and follows the pains they go through for love, family, and tradition, even when that tradition is honor killing.
In the 1970s, Pembe and her husband Adem move to London for a better life. As they try to fit into a different culture, their loveless marriage crumbles, and Adem leaves Pembe to fend for herself and their children alone. When Pembe begins seeing a new man, it falls to her oldest son to defend the family honor. Meanwhile Jamila, the other twin, stays in their native village, becomes a midwife, and contends with the Turkish culture changing around her.
Elif Shafak’s writing is terrific; she really brings you into the family’s daily life. The story grips you from its first pages and keeps you wondering: What would drive a person to kill one of their own in the name of honor?
By Jennifer Welsing