In Three Daughters of Eve, Elif Shafak tells the story of Peri, a high-flying Turkish businesswoman who is forced to confront her past when she finds an old photograph in her handbag. A relic from a time and place that she had tried desperately to forget, this snapshot is like a ghost–entangling her in painful memories long since buried. Yet Peri cannot help but peer into the photographer’s lens and wonder about the lives of her fellow students–and about the professor himself. These powerful women and their enigmatic mentor taught Peri more than she ever imagined possible. And now this haunting image has opened up a floodgate of emotions that spirals through time and space as Peri confronts her own demons–and comes face-to-face with herself once more.
A beguiling and masterly story of a passionate love triangle, rich in historical detail and set in Turkey, Three Daughters of Eve is a novel about the contradictions at the heart of everyday life. As the three young women–each from a different social class–struggle to find their own identities, Peri will be forced to choose between two men: her abusive husband or her student lover.
Drawing on both Eastern and Western myths and traditions, Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak explores the stories of three women: Peri, a wealthy Turkish journalist; Razia, a maid from Bangladesh; and Ayla, a young American from an insular religious community. While the novel focuses in part on conflicts between cultures and religious faiths, it also brings to light our shared human nature through the experiences of these women as they face enormous challenges.
About Three Daughters of Eve Book
Peri, a married, wealthy, beautiful Turkish woman, is on her way to a dinner party at a seaside mansion in Istanbul when a beggar snatches her handbag. As she wrestles to get it back, a photograph falls to the ground–an old Polaroid of three young women and their university professor. A relic from a past–and a love–Peri had tried desperately to forget.
Three Daughters of Eve is set over an evening in contemporary Istanbul as Peri arrives at the party and navigates the tensions that simmer in this crossroads country between East and West, religious and secular, rich and poor. Throughout the dinner, and amidst a luxury that is indeed ill-begotten, terrorist attacks occur across the city. However, the memories invoked by her almost-lost Polaroid are competing in Peri’s mind, of the time years earlier when she was sent abroad for the first time to attend Oxford University. As a young woman there, she had become friends with the charming, adventurous Shirin, a fully assimilated Iranian girl, and Mona, a devout Egyptian American. Their arguments about Islam and feminism focus on the charismatic but controversial Professor Azur, who teaches divinity in unorthodox ways. As the terrorist attacks come ever closer, Peri is moved to recall the scandal that tore them all apart.