Last is kind of a funny word to choose smack dab in the middle of the alphabet, but it’s one of those words that grabs your attention right away. It’s a story, all by itself, and the use of it in a title gives the book a sense of nostalgia before it’s even started. It makes you ask “why,” and that’s a strong pull to read onward.
Last Train to Istanbul: A Novel by Ayse Kulin; translation John W. Baker.
Amazon for $4.99. International bestseller by one of Turkey’s most beloved authors
As the daughter of one of Turkey’s last Ottoman pashas, Selva could win the heart of any man in Ankara. Yet the spirited young beauty only has eyes for Rafael Alfandari, the handsome Jewish son of an esteemed court physician. In defiance of their families, they marry, fleeing to Paris to build a new life.
But when the Nazis invade France, the exiled lovers will learn that nothing—not war, not politics, not even religion—can break the bonds of family. For after they learn that Selva is but one of their fellow citizens trapped in France, a handful of brave Turkish diplomats hatch a plan to spirit the Alfandaris and hundreds of innocents, many of whom are Jewish, to safety. Together, they must traverse a war-torn continent, crossing enemy lines and risking everything in a desperate bid for freedom. From Ankara to Paris, Cairo, and Berlin, Last Train to Istanbul is an uplifting tale of love and adventure from Turkey’s beloved bestselling novelist Ayşe Kulin.
Longing for more? Sign up for my newsletter.