This is a beautiful, multifaceted story, one of my most favorite reads in a long time. The author, Alan Drew, even taught high school in Cincinnati!
"This first novel explores the interactions between two families, one Muslim and the other Christian, in an Istanbul suburb during the earthquake that struck Turkey in 1999. Sinan Basioglu fears the influence of his Christian neighbors, Marcus and Sarah Roberts and their son Dylan, on his son Ismail and daughter Irem. He tries to minimize contact with them, but the earthquake binds the two families together. Ismail is buried in the rubble for hours and presumed dead. He survives miraculously when Sarah Roberts sacrifices her life to let him live. Now indebted to Marcus, the Basioglus are also homeless and forced to stay in the refugee camp he runs. Irem is increasingly drawn toward Dylan, Ismail to Christianity, and the novel quickly builds to its tragic conclusion. Drew occasionally descends into melodrama but in general has produced a fast-paced and well-written narrative, one that convincingly explores the tensions between Islam and Christianity and the seismic cultural shifts that can result from natural disasters. Recommended for larger academic and public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/07.]--Douglas Southard, CRA International Lib., Boston Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information. From: Reed Elsevier Inc. Copyright Reed Business Information"