This second post about Alan Drew’s novel Gardens of Water will serve as a critique of the book’s accompanying teacher’s guide. In particular the focus will be on how this guide, while leading readers to reflect on certain aspects of the character Irem’s life, manages to either minimize or altogether disregard some of the most significant events this character experiences throughout the story.
The first problematic perusal into Irem’s life within the teacher’s guide is in how it only raises questions pertaining to her life prior to the escape to Istanbul with her American boyfriend Dylan. Two examples of such questions include the following: “How do themes of family honor and freedom come into conflict in İrem’s decision to leave the camp with Dylan and travel to Istanbul? Why does her irrevocable decision to pursue her heart’s desire threaten her family’s name?”
While these questions are perfectly fine to ask in and of themselves, they only bring readers’ attention to part of Irem’s story. [Read more...]