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Secrets of a Summer Village Paperback – August 21, 2011
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"Akyil's charming, well-developed female characters are the foundations of this novel... the plot is swift and sure....and the book's ending begs for a sequel. Fans of Brashares' Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series will enjoy this romantic tale of cultural exchange on the western shores of Turkey." - Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Saskia E. Akyil, like many writers over the age of 25, began her art by keeping a journal and writing letters to her friends, pen-pals, cousins, and grandparents. After receiving a B.A. in International Studies from Emory University and an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) from the University of Minnesota, her writing took on a more formal tone as she wrote articles for academic publications. She gained incredibly diverse experiences while simultaneously working three jobs in Olympia, Washington; as a community college ESL professor for immigrants, as a state program administrator for displaced homemakers, and as a Spanish-language medical interpreter. She has also taught numerous cooking classes in the United States and in Germany. As a hobby, she collects languages, and has studied French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Turkish, and German. She left her jobs behind in 2005 when she moved to Munich, Germany with her husband and proceeded to have two sons, who inspire and exhaust her, and never cease to make her laugh.
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Top customer reviews
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During Rachael's visit, she discovers cultural differences, and also many similarities to the values from which she was raised.
It would be wonderful if more young people could experience a summer of discovery and adventure similar to Rachel's.
The next best thing to actually being there is reading this book.
Because of the extremes portrayed by the news media, the word "Muslim" has become a dirty word.
This book can help to change that stereotype and open one's mind to acceptance of others. For this reason, and also because the story is delightful and entertaining, I would recommend it to young and old alike, and would like to see it on a suggested school reading list.
It is very clean but still interesting so safe for a younger teen to read without worrying about language and overt sexual descriptions. I enjoyed that, without knowing it, you learned a lot about the Turkish culture and way of life as well.
The characters bond immediately and Rachel finds herself feeling like she has been in Turkey much longer than a few days. While there, Rachel meets a boy, falls in love, and experiences jealousy in her interactions with other girls. She goes through the brief courtship of the older sister, Leyla, and stays in Turkey longer than the original month in order to take part in Leyla's wedding.
Both Rachel and the reader learn much about modern family life in Turkey and, also, about many Turkish customs. The author is able to insert all these facts into the story in a way that is natural and that doesn't detract from the story line.
The story itself is told in a more simplistic style using language that reflects the unsophisticated characters of both Rachel and Aylen. The fact that there is no profanity used and that there is only the mention of physical attraction rather than overt sexual references, makes the book more approacheable by readers in the middle school age range. However, older readers might just find it a refreshing change from other young adult novels being written today.
I enjoyed readidng this book and recommend it to readers age 11 and older.
(In compliance with FTC guidelines, I am reporting that I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.)
All that to say, Saskia offered to send me a review copy; I'm so glad to have read this delightful story. I guarantee a teen adventure book involving summer romance in a warm and sunny coastal town of an exotic foreign land (Turkey in this case, the homeland of Saskia's husband) would have appealed to me when I was a young teen. Wait... who am I kidding? It appeals to me even now! Saskia's clear writing transported me to a place that I previously knew very little about and made me feel right at home.
Most recent customer reviews
This was a charming book. Highly appropriate for middle school aged children and even high school children it...Read more