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REVIEW: 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World

“The world is no longer the same for the one who has fallen in love, the one who is at its very centre; it can only spin faster from now on.”

Why Did I Read This Book?

Towards the end of November, I was really stuck on what to read. My usual books weren’t doing it for me and I had spent the majority of my time reading ARCs, so I needed something different. Molly at Molly’s Book Club chose this book for their book club read and everybody had commented saying how much they loved it. I thought I’d give it a try…

What Did I Think?

I absolutely adored this book and its format. If you haven’t heard about this book, it is written by the wonderful Turkish author, Elif Shafak, and the first part follows the 10 mins and 38 seconds before our protagonist’s brain dies.

As each minute ticks by, we get a glimpse into a different part of Leyla’s life and there were some truly heartbreaking moments. I loved the cultural references and historical background, and all of this mixed into beautifully written prose was exactly what I needed.

Elif Shafak beautifully depicts the struggles of the women of Istanbul in terms of culture, equality and sex. Her harrowing depiction of the impacts that religion, faith and shame have on families is one that will stick with me forever. Not that Elif Shafak shuns religion or Turkish culture in any way, she simply shows how dangerous and detrimental the most extreme versions can be, especially during a time of political turmoil.

The only thing criticism I have is that after Leyla’s chapters, I lost interest a little and kind of just wanted it to go back to Leyla…but overall the story itself was magnificent!

10 Minutes 38 Seconds In This Strange World

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Publisher: Viking
Published: 2019
# of Pages: 312
Genre: Contemporary, Historical Fiction
Trigger Warnings: death, rape, child abuse, prostitution, violence, abuse, murder
Links: Goodreads, Amazon, <a href="http://""/” data-type=”URL” data-id=”""/“>Blackwells


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