Last Train to Istanbul

International bestseller by one of Turkey s most beloved authorsAs 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.BuInternational bestseller by one of Turkey s most beloved authorsAs 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 and begin rounding up Jews, 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.
Last Train to Istanbul International bestseller by one of Turkey s most beloved authorsAs 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 onl

  • Title: Last Train to Istanbul
  • Author: Ayşe Kulin John W. Baker
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 196
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • 1 thought on “Last Train to Istanbul”

    1. Advanced Reader's Copy(ARC) - uncorrected proof - from NetGalley. Pages: 442------------------------Istandbul, Ankara, Paris 1941. "Spring arrived hand-in-hand with sorrow." Turkey was between a rock and a hard place. Britain demanded them to become an ally; Germany was threatening; Russia wanted Kars, Ardahan, the Bosphorus, and the Dardanelles. Choosing the losing side would have had dire consequences for Turkey. They learnt their lesson well after the first world war.It was not only a unsettl [...]

    2. Finished. Finally! I say finally because it took me too long due to a busy periodIt also took me long because, well, it's a very interesting story, but I must also say, it's not very well written. Or maybe it's a matter of translation? I can't read Turkish, so I'll never find out. I must say, though, that the editor - who is thanked in the final pages of the book - really didn't do a good job, there are so many tiny mistakes in language that got to me very much, in a 460-page book. Maybe I'm ann [...]

    3. It's definitely one of those books that are simply too good that you do not want them to end *sigh* I really want more!the more you progress into the story the more you get emotionally attached, at the second half of the book I simply felt I was one of the passengers on the trainIf you're interested to know how the Germans treated Jews at the WW2 period or if you are interested in Turkish literature this book if for you.

    4. “Think carefully. We only have one life to live. We alone are responsible for it.” The main theme of this book is amazing and heart-breaking but I just couldn't stand most of the characters and thought that Kulin portrayed them a bit too psychologically dramatic for my understandings. The writing, or it was maybe the Serbian translation of it, left me feeling uneasy and awkward at times. I just think that this book is probably just not my cup of tea. It would probably make a good movie, thou [...]

    5. It's hard to review this book. The synopsis is rather incorrect because it misleads you to believe that this is mainly the story about a couple. But it's not. It's more a collection of stories about Turkish people and how WW2 and the Holocaust affected them. It's a different view that most Americans don't know about - how many of us even think of how that time period affected Turkey? The writing itself seems rather choppy, it doesn't flow that well. But I can't help but think that could be due t [...]

    6. 4+Još jedan roman iz pera turske autorice Ayse Kulin u kojoj opisuje sudbinu Jevreja u Francuskoj za vrijeme II Svjetskog rata. U centru priče su Selva i Rafo Alfandari koji nakon vjenčanja odlaze iz Turske bježeći od porodica koji ne odobravaju brak između muslimanke i Jevreja. Daleko od porodica započinju novi život, dobivaju sina, a onda počinje rat koji se munjevitom brzinom širi. Moraju da se snalaze i pomažu drugima sa kojimaa se njihove sudbina isprepliću i ostaju povezana do [...]

    7. I would never have opened this book if it hadn’t been given to me by a good friend. I consider it my duty, then, to read it – but not to give it a good review, sorry friend. I knew I would have trouble when I was able to count seven clichés on pages 10-12 alone. That’s the translator’s fault, though. On the other hand, the problem of excessive exposition is the author’s. I go back and forth trying to find something positive to say… Young Tarık is a fairly interesting character, and [...]

    8. 4 γεμάτα από εικόνες Βόσπορου και Κωνσταντινούπολης αστεράκια. Μου άρεσε το βιβλίο περισσότερο από όσο πίστεψα σε κάποια στιγμή. Ξεκινώ έτσι την κριτική μου γιατί για να ειμαι απολύτως ειλικρινής ξεκινώντας το βιβλίο και διαβάζοντας τις πρώτες του σελίδες μου άρεσε μεν αλ [...]

    9. Mi fermo alle tre stelle per vari motivi. Il romanzo mi è piaciuto, parla di un episodio storico poco conosciuto, la fuga di un gruppo di ebrei turchi (e non solo) verso Istanbul da Parigi attraversando la Germania e molti altri territori occupati durante la seconda guerra mondiale. Non lo conoscevo ed è stato una scoperta interessante, così come il focus sulla posizione della Turchia nel conflitto, e anche sulle conseguenze che questa porterà in seguito (si vede un accenno alle prime basi a [...]

    10. 3.5 stars. It was a slow plot, with the synopsis not really starting till the middle, and sounding more adventurous than it was. None of the characters were incredibly likable, but were interesting and dynamic. It was interesting to see this perspective of WWII, especially from a culture so different than my own, and one often left out (unfortunately) of history books/classes (in my experience).

    11. “After all is said and done, what is life anyway? Aren't we all going to die in the end? I believe life is only worth living if, while we’re on earth, we can do honorable things.” “Last Train to Istanbul” is a phenomenal WWII novel set in Turkey and France, with one of the elements being a love story, and another being clandestine extractions of Jews via the Turkish government and foreign ministers aided by private citizens, from certain imprisonment/annihilation carried out by the Vic [...]

    12. This is a great story, very poorly told. I was so interested in learning about Turkey's role in WWII and its treatment of Jews. I love both Istanbul and Paris, both featured in this book, however the writing is horrendous. It reads as if it was translated by someone with only sixth grade level English using a Turkish-English dictionary and a book of English language idioms and clichès. "Clickety-clack" goes the train down the track, for example. However, I don't think all the blame should lay a [...]

    13. The premise is great: during WW2, an escape by train from Paris, through Germany, and on to Istanbul is planned. And the first half of this book is excellent: we get to know and care very much about a small group of characters. But as our emotional involvement ramps up, the story jumps track. Suddenly, we are in Cairo with a number of politicians to whom we've not been introduced. Granted, the underlying story is one of politics, but the author smartly chooses, during the first half of the book, [...]

    14. Love this book. Set during World War II, this book describes the obstacles Jews had to overcome during the war and the graciousness of one nation and its citizens who tried to save them, interwoven with long traditions and beautiful love stories. Highly recommend to anyone who likes historical fiction.

    15. The story begins in Ankara in 1941. Germany has begun its march against Europe, although Turkey is still a neutral country. Sabiha and Selva are daughters of a wealthy Turkish Muslim family living a rather carefree existence - of refined schools, elegant parties and social talk. But headstrong Selva falls in love with Rafael Alfamdari, son of a Jewish doctor. Much against her father's wishes she marries Rafo, suffers the consequences of her father's wrath and moves to Paris with Rafo to start a [...]

    16. I very nearly abandoned this book, but I'm glad I stuck with it. "Last Train to Istanbul" is the story of two privileged sisters, Sabiha and Selva, living in Istanbul. Sabiha follows her culture's expectations by marrying a man of the same faith and who has high ambitions within the new Turkish government. Selva follows her heart, marrying Rafael a Jewish man. Both Rafael and Selva are rejected by their families, and so they move to Paris where they will be more accepted.However, it's the 1930s [...]

    17. The historical aspects covered by this novel makes reading this book worthwhile. I was not aware that the Ottoman empire based in Turkey opened her doors to the Spanish Jews in the 15th century so they could escape the persecution of the Catholic King Ferdinand II. Then in WWII Turkey was again instrumental in helping many Jews escape the persecution of Hitler's genocidal policies.The culmination of the book is the escape of a 100 or so people on a train from Paris to Istanbul. The story just la [...]

    18. I drawn to this book when I read the cover says 'International Bestseller'. I become curious to know what makes it a bestseller internationally. I must say I loved this book. It is one of my favorite genre 'Historical Fiction'.The story is set during those six years of dreadful history of WW2. Not only the story but the way the plot and the sub-plot of the story worked out is brilliant. This book can also work as a guidebook for authors and writers to understand the art of writing a good book.I [...]

    19. Selva, the daughter of one of the Ottoman's last pasha's, has fallen in love with Rafael (Rafo) Alfandari, a Turkish Jew. As stubborn as her father, she rebels against his edict to stay away from and Rafo and instead marries him, forcing the two to flee to Paris in order to stave off the wrath of both families. Missed dearly by her sister, whose marriage to a Turkish diplomat gives her access to friends within the Turkish embassy in Paris, she help in some form from back home when Germany occupi [...]

    20. Today, I finally finished this book. I swear, I feel like I started this book forever ago and right now, I’m just glad that it’s over. The only reason I continued through it is because it was an audiobook and I needed something to listen to on my commute.Anyway, I selected the book because of the description. I felt like it was going to be a gentle love story with touches of war related drama. Instead, it was a disjointed semi-love story involving what I considered to be a somewhat dysfunct [...]

    21. I got a copy of this book from Netgalley to review.I don't easily give 5 star reviews but I thought this book was a top historical novel. I call it a top historical novel because it sheds light on a piece of history that I did not know and works very well as a novel.The book has two themes. The first theme is that it is about two sisters in an aristocratic Turkish family where one marries someone in the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the other marries a Turkish Jew and has to move to France becaus [...]

    22. Čitljiva knjiga teške teme. Period II. svjetskog rata prikazan iz turske perespektive. Poučno i zanimljivo.

    23. This is a truly beautiful, melancholic novel which made for a wonderful read. The premise of the story absolutely had me hooked from the first couple of chapters. This book details an intricately woven example of the resilient and united nature of humanity in spite of religion, politics and race.What I love most about this novel is that it highlights a part of history that I had not before considered. I have always been interested in the context around World War II and believe that you have to u [...]

    24. Anche lo stile della Kulin, come quello della Simons, mi ha catturata. Ho adorato la sua capacità di tenermi attaccata alle pagine con la sua prosa incalzante e coinvolgente, al punto da invogliarmi a portare il libro con me ovunque andassi. La Kulin, attraverso il suo modo di scrivere, ti permette di innamorarti, gioire e soffrire insieme ai personaggi, costringendoti così ad affezionarti ad ognuno di essi. Più di una volta mi sono vista coinvolta emotivamente, molte volte mi sono ritrovata [...]

    25. I chose this book because the blurb had me hooked. I love WWII stories and was intrigued by the influence of Turkey during WWII, it was such an eye opener! This also involved intermarriage of a Muslim girl and Jewish boy which was interesting to read about. Turkey's neutral stance during WWII had a significant impact on the outcome of the war but it is not a topic that has had much coverage in contemporary literature. I did come away from the book with a better understanding of the people and hi [...]

    26. The second half of the book was much better than the first half.This book is about the lives of two Turkish sisters, born in an aristocrat ottoman family who were raised mostly in the Republic of Turkey. The younger sister, Selva, marries a Turkish Jew, Raphael Alfandari, and emigrates to France with him, since both are rejected by their families as the result of their inter-faith marriage, that eventually leads the story to cover the sufferings of Jews in occupied France.Book has minor storylin [...]

    27. I was surprised to see so many mixed reviews on this book. I absolutely devoured it! I will preface by saying I do love historical fiction and seem to be particularly intrigued by Holocaust stories. I have never read a book by a Turkish author and after recently discussing a friend's recent trip to Turkey, I thought it would be an interesting read. Kulin's story follows two Turkish sisters, Sabiha and Selva. Sabiha marries a Turkish diplomat and lives in the Turkish capital, while Selva marries [...]

    28. I was originally attracted to this book because Istanbul is the number one spot in the world I want to visit. I don't think I knew that it was about World War II. I do love reading stories set in WWII and this book is EXCELLENT! The story tells of two sisters and a family in Turkey. The older sister marries a diplomat who is extremely involved in trying to keep Turkey out of WWII. The younger sister falls in love and marries a Jewish man. They then leave their families to live in France where th [...]

    29. This is an interesting story but not terribly well written though it might be more the fault of the translationI can't tell which is the culprit. The premise is good in that the book is based on the role of the Turks in WWII and their willingness to remain neutral. In doing so they tried hard to protect their people (no matter what religious beliefs, e.g Muslim or Jewish) as well as those (many Jews) who needed protection from the Germans. At the heart of this book is the interplay between two s [...]

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