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Ayshe Talay-Ongan

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Turquoise: A Love Story
by Ayshe Talay-Ongan   

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Literary Fiction

Publisher:  Sid Harta Publishers ISBN-10:  1921829060 Type: 


Copyright:  31 Jan 2012 ISBN-13:  9781921829060

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Price: $8.16 (eBook)
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Turquoise: A love sory

Set against transcendent love, unrelenting hatred and loyalties to friends and family, TURQUOISE is the story of an enduring and passionate love
affair between Yasmin and Renan, which spans two decades, two marriages and three continents.


Yasmin and her Armenian classmate Ani were oblivious to ethnic

differences during their school years in Istanbul.


Years later they run into each other, and Ani introduces Renan, her

husband, to Yasmin. At that moment under the blazing autumn skies,

as Yasmin locks eyes with Renan, she knows that she has come upon

her destiny. But political tensions in their land soon force Renan, her

secret love, and his family to immigrate to Sydney.


A few years on, Yasmin’s diplomat father is appointed as the Turkish

Consul General to Los Angeles where the family faces a devastating

tragedy that will impact their lives in ways unfathomable. She is now

forced to make a choice between passion that defines her and reason

that guides her.


When so much is stacked against Yasmin and Renan, how can love

possibly triumph?

It’s just before twilight on a Saturday in that ancient city where the East kisses the West: Istanbul.

Sunsets have always been my prayer-of-gratitude time, often with a drink in hand. And I have quite a bit to be grateful for — a new teaching job at
a top university, a set of parents who think I’m as good as daughters come, and a cosy flat with a lease to my name. Earlier today, a man my
height, with crew cut ginger hair, stout build and pocked-marked skin declared his love for me. Ibo is his name. I’m not moved; not even flattered.

Ibo is my tennis partner and we finish a couple of sets at our local club, in which I take a beating, as usual. I met him here; in the last few months
of my new membership, our weekend match dates have evolved into match plus dinner. And now, crunch time.

‘I win the match, but you have the walk of the victorious!’ he says, poking me. ‘Slim, tall, brunette and alluring. Thank God I play better than you.’

‘And the winner buys, too, Master.’ I toss my towel over my shoulder and quicken my steps to the change room.

Showered and dressed, we sit down by the garden bar and order glasses of chilled white wine. The early autumn sky is aglow in shades of crimson.
We exchange smiles in an uneasy silence.

‘I’ll get us a plate of nibbles,’ I say and push my chair out, ignoring his bid to get up. I return from the open bar with bits of feta cheese and green
olives, some crackers and a cluster of grapes.

‘So…’ he says after giving me tips about how I can lift my tennis game. ‘Where would you like to go for dinner tonight? That little place that just
opened in Nişantaşi, maybe? It’s nice and quiet there. Good for hearing me out.’

‘Ibo,’ I say. ‘I just... Maybe it’s too soon to talk about—’

I feel a hand on my shoulder.

‘Yasmin? I thought it was you. My God, you have not changed at all!’ yells my high school classmate Ani Arman. ‘How have you been; where have you been?’

I jump up and throw my arms around her thin shoulders.

‘Ani, how lovely to see you! I almost didn’t recognise you.’ The short haircut in chestnut red looks great on her. ‘What’s happened to your
long ponytail?’

It has been nearly a decade since we graduated; I have not seen Ani since then. We were never really close, but I do remember spending hours rehearsing Pygmalion together and her wicked sense of humour. She’d start improvising around her lines differently each time, driving our drama teacher absolutely livid. Affectionately irreverent, she used to crack us up with her interjections in class, too.

‘We thought we’d have our Saturday eating out at the Club,’ she says. ‘First time in months we’ve come here, and I run into you!’

A tall man stands a step behind her. ‘

This is just great! Please join us for a drink,’ I say. They exchange a quick look and nod. Ibo tenses slightly.

‘Ani, this is my friend, Ibo,’ I say as they move the wicker chairs to sit at our table.

‘How do you do?’ she says and turns. ‘And this is my husband, Renan,’ she says.

As Renan locks eyes and hands with me, I am thrown into a slow motion film strip. Time settles to a trickle, a shining sliver. My being expands under
the wisps of clouds aflame overhead and I feel weightless, levitating.

I linger in the forest of green in his eyes, and the power of his handsome and beckoning face. Sandy auburn hair, a strong chin; a kind and warm
expression like he’s the one who’s found a long-lost friend. I am transfixed.

Slowly I return to here-and-now. I notice his brows lifting slightly as he takes in a deep breath. Then a thought emerges, unstoppable. I know what I should have in this life, and it is not this meagre relationship with Ibo.

Dislocation no more.

Professional Reviews

Wendy O’Hanlon, Acres Australia
A big, powerful novel of love, angst, political unrest and ethnic hatred. The author has skillfully penned these pages so that the characters are raw and real, their emotions searing, their plight palpable. But this is not just a story of unrequited love and family loyalty. This novel is also a strong comment on the evil of ethic hatred. An engrossing work. Look out for the sequel, Emerald, which is currently underway.

Dot Whittington, The Weekender
Ayshe Talay-Ongan takes us on the life journey of Yasmin. Having fallen in love with Renan, a married man, she tries her best to deny her feelings.
Readers sympathise with her tough decisions and come to respect her determination as she struggles to find a balance between reality and fantasy. The greatest question Talay-Ongan poses to readers is, how long can you go on living with second best when your heart is already bound? Turquoise is not a simple romance but a tale of passion and love - the love of a child, a job, two countries and a man.

John Morrow’s Pick of the Week
Yasmin’s story. Two failed marriages, two children and an enduring love that began in a Turkish tennis club unfolds before your eyes in this well written novel. With characters who come across as completely flawed and human, you will be pulled into this novel that runs the full gamut of emotions and relationships. The author of this book is currently working on the sequel to this novel which is to be called ‘Emerald’. I will be eagerly waiting for her next book as I have a feeling that there is much more to come from this bright and shining new author.

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Reader Reviews for "Turquoise: A Love Story"

Reviewed by Kathleen Janz-Anderson 9/2/2012
This sounds very interesting and I can't wait to read it.
Reviewed by Ayshe Talay-Ongan 3/20/2012
This novel of first, my baby. I worked on it for four years prior to publication! Although the story was percolating, the art of writing a novel, quite different to writing text books which I did a few of, needed to be learned. Luckily I worked with two brillant mentors (gratis, Shelley and Selena!) and here I am getting some reviews that make me walk on air with a smile on my face... I invite you to visit my blog and join the discussions on some of the underlying themes of the book, issues near and dear women's hearts.

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