TE16 Turkish Delight

The Adventures of Misfit Defne Kaman: Earth (novel excerpt) by Buket Uzuner Translated from Turkish by Andrew Boord Chapter 20 The Family Home

Isn’t the ‘family home’ where a person spends their first innocent yearsasymbol of securityandwarmth, even inpovertyordistress? Apparently not. Entering the family home she had never known or seen before that night, Defne understood this. Rules and generalizations are a nightmare for people who are ‘different’, or in the minority. Now she had entered, she took a deep breath and surrendered to the nightmare. As her father fumbled with the keys to open the ordinary door of an ordinary flat in an ordinary building, he was pre-empted by a woman evidently expecting them. A woman who meant something to her father? As far as she knew, her father had no sister, and since his brother had died in infancy it couldn’t be his sister-in-law; this woman was his father’s wife. Did this woman ever wonder about her? Did she want to meet her? No, on both counts. Why should she? Yet she obviously did. The deep brown eyes of the woman who opened the door seemed to pierce one’s soul. A simple, unpretentious, middle- aged woman of sturdy build with dark hair, she was wearing a 145

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