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Halide's Gift: A Novel Paperback – Sep 10 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (Sept. 10 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375759972
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375759970
  • Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 13.3 x 2.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #839,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed the book. When I wasn't reading it, it was still in my mined and I couldn't wait for the next time to read it again and see what is happening. Knowing that it was based on true story, the book gave me so much more understanding and respect for the time Halide lived in.
Thank you for the book.
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By Kyle on May 1 2003
Format: Paperback
This was not the book I expected. Its plot is weak and its characters were poorly developed. The plot holds together in a rag-tag sort of way, but there are a lot of small plotlines that went nowhere. The book was a disappointing read because it was not so much about Halide's Gift, as it was about the series of events occuring in her life. Halide was a boring character, perhaps one of the blandest in the book, especially so considering that she is the protagonist, although there is no real conflict or problem in the theme.
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Format: Paperback
This is only a brief note for now, because I am so excited about "Frances'Gift To Me" that I just can not wait until I have to a bit more time to write an in-depth review of her work.

So, two days later, here I am, back with more.
Firstly, unlike another reviewer who faulted Ms. Kazan's writing style, I found her style pleasant and fluent. Second, her knowledge about Turkey is more than sufficient, but open-minded as well.
My only gripe is that this book is too short! Or perhaps she has Part II, The Sequel, in the pipeline?
I grew up in Turkey, in the 1960s, and Halide Edip Adivar was one of my favorite Turkish woman writers. Halide Edip was a great woman, and a great writer, an enlightened leader, woefully forgotten in the West, and a virtual unknown in the United States.
So, Ms. Kazan has given me a personal gift by (obviously) liking and respecting Halide, and penning this eminently legible, interesting novel based upon her life, better said, her formative years.

Herewith I am issuing a public plea to Frances Kazan to return to her writing desk and produce the Sequel, beginning with Halide Edip Adivar's courageous stand by Mustafa Kemal, the Founder of Modern Turkey.
Meanwhile, gentle reader, let me repeat with all my heart that HALIDE'S GIFT is excellent reading based upon an intriguing, worthy subject.
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By Melinda Lucas on Feb. 24 2003
Format: Paperback
A richer, fuller story could have been told by a better writer. All of the characters and settings required for a great story are here, but the narritive left me wanting more. Ms. Kazan obviously has ties to the publishing world due to her marriage to the famed director. This book fails as a drama because I didn't care aboout any of the characters as they held no special interest for me because they were so one-dimentional and Halide never realizes her "gift". The book dosen't really hang together. You can find something else better to read... try just about anything.
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Format: Paperback
The beginning of Halide's Gift was quite promising; the death of Selima, Edib's finding of another man's picture in his dead wife's locket, the mystery of Halide's sister Mahmoure, and her relationship with Riza, Halide's ability to see and hear the dead ... there were a lot of interesting little undeveloped plots that kept me reading. However, as the book continued, it didn't seem to develop in line with the expectations I had for it. Halide seems to be the least interesting character in the novel, and I think she would have been more interesting if Kazan had told the story more from Halide's point of view. I got no deep sense of Halide's faith or her inner strength. Since she did tell the story in the third person, I wished that there had been greater development of characters other than Halide. These other characters--Granny, Mahmoure, Edib, and particularly Teyze--actually seem much more interesting than Halide herself, but Kazan doesn't develop these characters to any satisfying extent. She touches on them just enough to make me wonder what makes them tick. I got the feeling that she didn't "know" them well enough (particularly Edib) to delve into the meanings behind their motivations and actions and to write them to be more believable. Also, it's almost as if she has so many characters and so many small plots going on that she can't do justice to any single one.
I also found the title to be a bit of a misnomer. Halide's "gift" is an ability to see (and communicate?) with the dead that later manifests itself in an ability to write arresting fiction. This "gift," however, is a very minor part of the story, and it seemed weird that the entire novel would be named for it.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
I agree with those who say that this book didn't really match its description. I thought it was going to be more in the vein of "magical realism" (like Gabriel Garcia Marquez or Isabel Allende) in terms of explaining Halide's "gift". Instead this was only a very small and minor part of the development of the story. I also thought that the story would be told using Halide's voice or at least her point of view (from a woman's perspective). A lot more time was devoted to the male characters than I would have expected and this seemed to take away the focus from the important female characters who I would have liked to learn more about. It was an enjoyable book to read simply because it took place in a time and place that I know little about, but it definitely didn't live up to my expectations.
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