Book Review: Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak

Author: Elif Shafak
Publisher: Penguin UK
Genre: Contemporary/ Literary Fiction
View on Goodreads | Buy from Bookwitty

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Three daughters of Eve is about three young Muslim women from different backgrounds who despite their shared faith, or at least the label of it, in fact become the most unlikely of friends when they meet at Oxford university. Peri is the protagonist and she was born in Turkey in a confused and conflicted household in which religion was one of the main causes of arguments. Peru finds herself in the middle of her mother, a devoted Muslim, and her father who despises all things related to religion. He encourages his daughter to go to Oxford to be empowered by education and knowledge which is what Peri sets out to do.

The story flits between Peri’s upbringing in Turkey and the difficulties in her childhood which then moves on to her time at Oxford University; and more than ten years later when she has returned to Turkey and is then married with children.
After being mugged on her way to a high society dinner party, Peri finds herself unable to stop thinking about her past and what happened at Oxford.


What I loved about this book:

I absolutely adored the way this book was written. The style was so eloquently posed that I found myself enchanted by it. There was a lot of focus on Peri’s deepest thoughts and feelings and that’s what really draws me in to a book and makes me connect with the characters even more. Throughout this book there was a lot of philosophical discussion, even within Peri’s own thoughts and this was another thing I loved. A lot of the dialogue and inner thoughts from characters within this story were intellectually stimulating and that made me all the more invested in this book. I also loved how I could relate to a lot of aspects of Peri’s character; mostly the fact that she was a bookworm and often preferred the company of books to people and linked to that, the fact that she was an introvert. All of the characters within this book were realistic and powerful within their own right. Another thing I loved about this book was the fact that it challenged me in the way I think. The fact that Peri and some of the other characters, were so confused about their faith and their belief in God, to the point that they couldn’t comprehend how anyone could not be confused; made me see things from a different point of view than my own.

Things that could have improved the book:

The only complaint I really have is that I would have liked more detail about some aspects of the story. After a big scandal during Peri’s time at Oxford university there is no time or detail given to the direct aftermath following on from this which I would have been really interested to read. I also found the ending extremely ambiguous which is a pet hate of mine.

Other than that I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it enlightening. Would definitely recommend!

Rating: 8/10

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