Last Train to Istanbul: A Novel
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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.
control his actions around his daughter, but the moment he dismissed her he set about breaking every single crystal vase and mirror in the room. Sabiha was asked to come from Ankara at once to try to help calm her father down and to persuade Selva to give up her obsession. Both she and Leman Hanım spent days on end trying to bring Selva to her senses. Leman Hanım was beside herself. She couldn’t sleep at night and spent hours walking from room to room tearing at her hair. How on earth did we
leave before five today anyway.” “Why?” “I’ve got to pick Hülya up from Marga at her ballet class.” “Doesn’t the nanny do that?” “She has something else to do today.” “Oh, for God’s sake, what else does a nanny have to do?” “She wants to do some shopping before she goes back to England at the end of the month.” “I didn’t know she was leaving, Sabiha! Why?” “Well, Hülya has grown up; she is a big girl now. She no longer needs a nanny to fuss over her.” “But I thought she was teaching
else and making love to her. The same goes for me too, of course.” “It isn’t possible to change your destiny, Selva.” “Isn’t it?” As Rafo lowered his head to kiss Selva for the third time, he suddenly realized that he was passing the reins of their fate into Selva’s hands. They spent the rest of the day in that dark room until it was time to rejoin Sabiha. He hadn’t managed to pluck up the courage to kiss her again. Selva had neither encouraged nor discouraged him. For his part, he couldn’t
the street, tears streamed down her face. As night descended she gasped for breath. The sad day would turn into yet another sad night. Macit was probably going to come home late. Hülya would have her endless whens, whys, and wheres throughout the meal. The nanny would sit across the table, undoubtedly talking about the war. Ankara, which was so full of happy memories, only represented sadness now. Not just sadness, but monotony, dreariness as well. Life was just gray! Macit opened the front
to see you. Says he’s a friend of yours.” “What’s his name?” “Ferit…Ferit Say—” “Saylan?” “That’s it, Saylan.” “Let him in. He’s my friend.” Tarık felt anxious when he saw Ferit looking so pale. “What’s up, my friend? What happened?” he asked. “Actually, I was worried about you,” said Ferit. “I popped in to see you at home and Muhlis told me you had rushed over to the consulate in a state. What’s the matter, what is it? Is there anything I can do?” “Thanks, but I don’t think so. The