Title: Istanbul Days, Istanbul Nights
Author: Leonard Durso
My Rating: 2.5/5 stars
This book was sent to me courtesy of Smith Publicity; thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to read and review this story!
A Shakespeare-like tale of love, loss and life set in Istanbul, this story is one that will punch you in the gut. However, you may also find it healing.
One word of advice: don’t go into this book expecting a Romeo & Juliet retelling, because it’s not really. While described as such, I couldn’t really see the similarities. The characters, mostly all faculty at a school in Istanbul, work to put on a Romeo & Juliet performance with a modern twist to it, but never is this actual story meant to be a re-imagining.
The way this was written was very peculiar; in some ways good and in others bad. The tone was lyrical and everything was described beautifully, yet I felt a disconnect at some points because there was some poor sentence structure. It switches among the massive cast of characters and gives you a good feel for them all, but sometimes it becomes confusing. This also makes it difficult for the reader to really get to know any of the characters fully.
You could tell that the author either did plenty of research or most likely spent some time in Istanbul because Durso’s descriptions were vibrant and alive. I felt like I was there and that’s a really special thing to achieve. The setting was lovely and on paper, poetic.
All in all, this book didn’t connect with me like I hoped it would, but it features a diverse cast in a beautiful setting. Just because I didn’t get as much out of the experience as I’d hoped doesn’t mean that someone else won’t find something meaningful and special about it. If you enjoy rich storytelling, diverse characters and unique writing styles, give this a try!