Thursday, April 19, 2012

City of Man's Desire: A Novel of Constantinople

I was lucky enough to have won this book in a Goodreads contest. To be totally upfront, I probably would not have bought it on my own. That's not a fact though - I love anything historical (well documented) and have a weird love for Constantinople - or at least the romance of what I imagine Constantinople was. There are a few cities that I feel that way about - Marrakesh, Constantinople, Vienna... cities I would love to visit just because I've built them up in my mind. People always tell me I'll be disappointed, but I wasn't dissappointed when I finally got to Beijing, Florence and Barcelona, so whatever people. Whatever.

Regardless, I was excited to have won this book, and was thrilled when it finally came. I did, however make the mistake of bringing it with me when I went to visit my mom, and since I was "reading too many other books" she promptly stole it and read it first. Traitor. I finally got it back from her, and I devoured it - as much as this book can be devoured. This book is a love-letter to Constantinople, and it's written exactly how I wish I could write to the cities I love.  Golna brings the city to life, you feel like you are there, seeing the people, drinking the Turkish coffee and seeing everything Constantinople was at the turn of the century. 

I loved how Golna writes about this time in the history of Constantinople - it was a turbulent time for the people and the city itself.  The book was very real to me - each of the characters are so humanly flawed which I loved reading about.  I'm a little hesitant to write a review about this book other than I really really enjoyed it.  It's well documented I love historical fiction, and this book did not let me down. It's not a quick and easy read, but it's one I would recommend without hesitation - to fans of historical fiction and not!

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