Honor by Elif Shafak | Book Review


Hi everyone. I’m Rincey and this is Rincey
Reads. Today I’m going to be doing a book review on Honor by Elif Shafak. This is a
historical fiction novel. I suppose you could consider it historical fiction because it
mainly takes place between the 1940s and the 1970s. In the 1940s there are these two twin
girls who are born in this small Turkish village. They are the youngest of, I believe, five
sisters. You follow them growing up. Eventually one of the twin sisters ends up getting married
and moving to London. And then you follow basically her time in London as a wife and
eventually as a mother. That’s sort of like the general overview of what this story is
about but there’s also a lot more happening in this story. The way this book starts you
are following this young woman in the 1970s in London and you are kind of just following
her through her day and you don’t know exactly what you’re walking into but you eventually
realize that she is on her way to pick up her brother from jail. So you start the story
off knowing that for some reason this character is now in jail. From there you’re basically
taken to different times in this family’s life, putting together all of the pieces of
the puzzle of what has exactly happened and why exactly it has happened. I don’t want
to give away too many details because, at least for me personally, I had a lot of fun
putting together the pieces of this puzzle, like I’ve said. I think there’s a lot to be
gained from going into this as blind as you possible can. Or maybe I’m just biased that
way because that’s how I went into it. And so it’s hard for me to say whether or not
this book would be as enjoyable if you had more details at your disposal. I read this
back in January and I gave this a 5 out of 5 stars and I still think about this book
now that it’s like mid-February. And I’m even considering re-reading it in the next couple
of months because I want to experience this all over again. I am just such a big fan of
Elif Shafak now. I’ve read this and I’ve read The Architect’s Apprentice and Elif Shafak
just does such a great job of building these full and fleshed out characters, which is
just everything that I want in a story. The characters in this book are completely flawed
and complicated. There are some characters in here who do some really horrible things,
but somehow you’re sympathetic to almost everyone in this story. There’s a lot of discussion
in this book about what’s required of certain people in certain roles. Especially because
this family is Muslim and, you know, the parents are from Turkey and things like that, there
are certain roles that they’re required to fill, there’s certain duties that they’re
bound to fill. And this story sort of follows all of these different characters as they
have their own desires as well as what they know that they’re supposed to do, and there’s
sort of this conflict. The way Elif Shafak writes this book, there’s so many different
twists and turns. It almost seems like over the top, but at the same time it still feels
so believable and real because she does such a great job of creating this, these depth
of characters that you can kind of almost understand why all of these things are happening.
One of the quotes on the back of this book describes it as being very Shakespearian and
I definitely agree with that. This book also does a really great job of tackling sort of
these bigger topics of love and loyalty and family and honor, obviously, and what all
of all those things mean and what our actions do to sort of enhance or diminish those qualities
within us. But even just on top of that, the plot in and of itself is so gripping. I was
really surprised because there’s a lot that happens in this story that I never saw coming
whatsoever. I don’t know if it’s just because I read it in a very short period of time — I
finished it in like 2 nights — so there wasn’t a lot of time for me to like contemplate what
was happening in the plot. I was just enjoying it and experiencing it. But I feel like the
ending is a complete surprise in the best possible way. Sort of how everything sort
of leads to that point was really great, just discovering that and see the journey of these
characters and seeing, you know, sometimes where they are in the 1970s and then seeing
how they’ve come to that point, things like that. It was really, really fantastic. I’m
really excited to read more Elif Shafak and I’m hoping more people pick up her books because
she is such a fantastic author. So yeah, I don’t remember if I said this already in this
video, but I gave this book a 5 out of 5 stars. I give this like my highest recommendation
possible to people. If you like contemporary, literary, historical fiction books, this book
will scratch all of those itches. It’s really, really fantastic and really it’s all just
about what great characters Elif Shafak has put together here. So yeah, those are my really
quick thoughts on Honor by Elif Shafak. I still don’t feel like I’ve done this book
justice. I’ve recorded this, though, like multiple times and it’s just time for me to
put the review out there. If you’ve read this book or if you’ve read any of Elif Shafak’s
other books, feel free to leave that down in the comment section below. I’m really excited
to read more books from her. So yeah, that’s all I have for now and thanks for watching.

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20 thoughts on “Honor by Elif Shafak | Book Review”

  1. The Maddie Hatter says:

    I love Elif Shafak's books so much! Her writing is wonderful and her characters are one of the most memorable ones I've come across. Honor was my first book by her and I adored it. The Bastard of Δ°stanbul, The Saint of Incipient Insanities, and Forty Rules of Love are also very good!

  2. Amy Williams says:

    I love Elif Shafak too. I read The Architect's Apprentice, on you recommendation, and lived it. It's great that she's written so many books, something to look forward to.

  3. RamblingsOfAnElfpire says:

    I've only read The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak but this review has really made me want to try more. I would highly recommend The Forty Rules of Love, it does a great job of mixing modern day and historical settings.

  4. Khia Comments says:

    I am so glad that you put a review up of this book, and that you are singing Elif Shafak's praises. I see you've been bitten by the bug to continue her reading, like so many of her fans. You should definitely go out to read Bastard out of Istanbul next.

  5. Larkie says:

    She has been on my TBR list for a while, but I am moving her up to next to be read after this review

  6. Suad A says:

    The first book I've read by her was The Forty Rules of Love. It's really really good, so much Sufism lol. Currently I'm reading The Architect's Apprentice, so far so good!! I'll be reading this book next!! 🌹

  7. Jasey Jade says:

    Sounds like a fun book to read because of the puzzle aspect of it! πŸ˜€ on my TBR list now! xo

  8. booksandpieces says:

    This sounds fascinating. I love when books explore the intricacies of characters and their motivations. It can make the smallest things speak so loudly. πŸ™‚

  9. Polish Book Fan says:

    I love Shafak, too πŸ™‚ Honor is great, so if you enjoyed it, you should also read The Bastard of Istanbul. I admire how well she writes about women and the turkish society in general. I'm sure you'll like it, too πŸ™‚

  10. WellDoneBooks says:

    sounds fantastic. definitely something i'd be interested in reading. great review πŸ™‚

  11. WhatKamilReads says:

    Shes been on my radar for quite awhile already. She is quite popular in Poland, her books seem to be everywhere. I was always hesitating bcs I wasn't sure what to expect, couldn't really even placed her in a specific genre. Thanks for this review I'm going read something of her soon this years.

  12. Kathleen Ann says:

    A family saga with Shakespearean tragic elements? I am in!

  13. Ibtissam Bettahi says:

    I'm reading it in french and I am a huge fan of Elif Shafak

  14. KHUZAFA RAUF says:

    I just finished reading this book and I have almost the same thoughts.
    Have you read her "The Bastard of Istanbul" yet? One of the best book I read this year..!!

    Love your reviews btw. I love reading historical fiction. Keep recommending more!! I totally trust your recommendations!

  15. AJ Burqs says:

    reading this book was such a beautiful journey!!! she is an unbelievable writer. im half way through The Bastard of Istanbul and i can not let go of it haha. highly HIGHLY recommend reading Elif Shafak!! you will not be sorry : )

  16. Sanya P says:

    You're review made me read this book. Excellent. I love it. Thank you.

  17. Tova Portmann - Bown says:

    "Does terrible things." As. cough Iskender cough I absolutely adore Elif Shafak as a writer and I've loved every single one of her books.

  18. Kunal Kher says:

    Elif Shafak is excellent when it comes to storytelling. Both Honor, and the Bastard of Istanbul have lovely plot twists.

  19. MAJOULI Mohamed Aymen says:

    you should read black milk and the forty rules od love by elif shafak those books are a masterpierce

  20. Chakir Mahfoud says:

    Yeah Elif Shafak is truly an amazing writer !! All of her books are gripping and captivating . The 40 rules of love remains the best in my opinion .

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