Seven Houses by Alev Lytle Croutier
A Novel

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Synopsis

From a grand villa in Smyrna to a silk plantation near Mount Olympus, from a little cottage in a dusty town to the indifferent apartments of a modern day high rise, SEVEN HOUSES charts the rocky, uncertain course of one family's ever-shifting fortunes across the twentieth century. As her characters' communal baths and odalisques give way to laptops and cell phones, Alev Lytle Croutier renders a world that is rich with the portents of history and the magic of true faith. In the shdow of World War I, the young widow Esma falls helplessly in love with the man who tutors her sons. Their union results in the birth of Aida, whose magical beauty brings pleasure and pain in equal measure. Esma's granddaughter, Amber, whose sheltered childhood on her uncle's plantation ends with frightening abruptness, finds solace in the American music on her transistor radio. The passions and secrets of the women of SEVEN HOUSES reach a stunning culmination when Amber returns to Smyrna with Nellie, her American-born daughter. In this emotional pilgrimage to the land of Nellie's ancestors, Croutier's enchanting, utterly captivating novel comes full circle.
 

About Alev Lytle Croutier

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Alev Lytle Croutier is the author of the novel The Palace of Tears as well as two works of nonfiction: Harem: The World Behind the Veil and Taking the Waters. A frequent lecturer on Orientalism and Women's History, Croutier has also written and directed films, including Tell Me a Riddle, based on a novella by Tillie Olsen. Born and raised in Turkey, she now lives in San Francisco and Paris.
 
Published September 24, 2002 by Atria. 320 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Self Help. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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As the setting shifts from Smyrna to a house on the family silk plantation, then to city apartments, more houses, and finally a cottage in Smyrna, the story not only describes changes in the family but also the political changes: Ataturk’s secularization, the growing American influence, and the r...

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Publishers Weekly

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The various residences of the Ipekci family serve as the narrative framework for this ambitious second novel by Croutier, a multigenerational saga tracing a Turkish family's turbulent journey through the 20th century.

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