For my second post of the day I’m pleased to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for historical novel At The Breakfast Table by Defne Suman. Thank you to Anne Cater and Head of Zeus for giving me the opportunity to read and review this gorgeous book.
About the book:
Buyukada Island, Turkey, 2017. In the glow of a late summer morning, family gather for the 100th birthday of the famous artist Sirin Saka. It ought to be a time of fond reminiscence, looking back on a long and fruitful artistic career, on memories spanning almost a century, but also of an era when imperial forces fought over her homeland.
But the deep past is something Sirin has spent a lifetime trying to conceal. Her grandchildren, Nur and Fikret, and great grandchild, Selin, do not know what Sirin is hiding, though they are intimately aware of the secret’s psychological consequences. The siblings invite family friend and investigative journalist Burak along to interview Sirin for his weekly column in celebration of her 100th year. They hope he will help unravel the family secrets and persuade her to talk. Sirin’s life-long servant, Sadik, is determined to do all he can to protect the artist.
Eventually Sirin begins to express her pain the only way she knows how. She paints the story onto her dining room wall, revealing a history wiped from public consciousness and the cause of her family’s anguish that has sat, ruinous, in their subconscious for generations.
About the author:
Defne Suman was born in Istanbul and grew up on Buyukada Island. She gained a Masters in sociology from the Bosphorus University then worked as a teacher in Thailand and Laos where she studied Far Eastern philosophy and mystic disciplines. She later continued her studies in Oregon, USA and now lives in Athens with her husband. Her English language debut The Silence of Scheherazade was published by Head of Zeus in 2021.
Steeped in Turkish history, At The Breakfast Table by Defne Suman is a gorgeously written and absorbing tale that is a rich tapestry of family history and hidden secrets. Told from four different perspectives, it is a beautifully told and emotive story that will stay with me..
It is 2017 on Buyukada Island in Turkey. The family of famous artist Sirin Saka gather to celebrate her 100th birthday. What should be a time of fond memories and a look back at a long life well lived becomes anything but when Sirin’s grandchildren invite investigative journalist Burak along to interview her for his weekly column. The hope is that he will help unravel family secrets and persuade her to talk. But Sadik, Sirin’s lifelong servant, is determined to protect her at all costs…
At The Breakfast Table is a tale steeped in a dark and painful history that Sirin begins to express in the only way she knows how: by painting the story on to her dining room wall. Revealing a history that had been wiped from public consciousness, Sirin brings to life generations of painful memories that have been kept hidden for a lifetime.
At The Breakfast Table is a gorgeously written, atmospheric read that captured my imagination from the very first page. Defne Suman’s writing is superb and I couldn’t help but fall in love with the beautiful setting, lyrical prose and larger than life characters, whose voices came together to make a largely satisfying whole.
A rich and absorbing historical tale, At The Breakfast Table is a book that I would recommend.
At The Breakfast Table by Defne Suman is available to purchase now: