Book Review: Madonna in a Fur Coat

Madonna in a Fur Coat

Published – May 5th 2016

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This book was a translated work of a best selling Turkish classic which is set in 1920s and majority of the plot unfolds in Berlin.

Goodreads excerpt,

A shy young man leaves his home in rural Turkey to learn a trade and discover life in 1920s Berlin. There, amidst the city’s bustling streets, elegant museums, passionate politics, and infamous cabarets, a chance meeting with a beautiful half-Jewish artist transforms him forever. Caught between his desire for freedom from tradition and his yearning to belong, he struggles to hold on to the new life he has found with the woman he loves.

It is a very easy to read and short book with less than 200 pages so you go through the book relatively fast. The story is sort of divided into two parts the present and the past. The past mainly involves the love story of Raif Efendi. Now, as a character I hated Raif. I hated the fact that he was so weak-willed. In the first few pages it self it is clear that Raif Effendi is insignificant at his workplace, takes in whatever shit people or life throw at him and has no zeal for life. Even his family shows no respect for him and Raif Effendi is okay with that. Yes, there is a reason for the way he behaves and he has a story but personally for me those reasons were not good enough and I rolled my eyes multiple times while reading this book.

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The story is narrated from the perspective of another young gentleman who just joins the same company as Raif Effendi. He was another character who took more interest in Raif Effendi’s life than his own. Another weak character whose presence irritated me. His only purpose in life was to find out why Raif effendi was the way he was. This guy loses his current job and struggles to find work and has no direction in his life but wants to dig deep into someone else’s story. A good 20 pages were dedicated to how this guy struggles because of losing a job and how he ends up at the same firm as Raif but I didn’t understand how any of that was related to the main plot.

Out of all the characters in the book, I liked Madonna’s character the most. She was strong willed was consistent throughout the narration. I don’t want to talk more as I feel like I might giveaway details of the plot which could be borderline spoilers.

There were some aspects of the book which I felt were well written but didn’t make a lasting impact on me. It could have been just me, I don’t enjoy love stories and hence I could have failed to connect to it or it could be that some of the emotions were lost in translation. At this point I don’t fully understand why I couldn’t connect to the story as much as I expected to or thought I would.

Overall, I gave the book a 3 star rating because it was well written/translated. It wasn’t a horrible book but it wasn’t for me. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys touching romance reads because it is possible you would connect with the plot line a lot more compared to me. But if you were looking for Turkish literature then maybe this isn’t the book for you as most of the book was in Berlin.

Side note: I am also sad that fall is over, it is raining heavily here in Seattle

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Rating – ♥♥♥ / 5

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