Set in the ancient city of Smyrna, this historical novel follows the intertwining fates of four families as their peaceful city is ripped apart by the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.
September 1905. At the heart of the Ottoman Empire, in the ancient city of Smyrna, Scheherazade is born to an opium-dazed mother.
At the very same moment, an Indian spy sails into the golden-hued, sycamore-scented city with a secret mission from the British Empire. When he leaves, 17 years later, it will be to the smell of kerosene and smoke as the city, and its people, are engulfed in flames.
Told through the intertwining fates of a Levantine, a Greek, a Turkish and an Armenian family, this unforgettable novel reveals a city, and a culture, now lost to time.
'Fiercely intelligent, finely textured and achingly beautiful' Elif Shafak
'Utterly delightful' Buki Papillon
'This rich tale of love and loss gives voice to the silenced, and adds music to their histories' Maureen Freely, Chair, English PEN
'A must-read' Ayşe Arman, Hürriyet
'A symphony of literature' Açık Radyo
'Defne Suman is a story-teller. She tells the story of how love, emotions and identities are influenced by socio-political events of a lifetime' Cumhuriyet Newspaper
'A wonderfully braided story of family secrets set in the magical city of Smyrna, told in luminous prose' Lou Ureneck, author of Smyrna, September 1922