October 2008 Indie Next List
“First-time novelist Alan Drew has created a story that takes you just outside of Istanbul, where a massive earthquake creates circumstances that will bind an American family living abroad and a conservative Muslim family together in ways none could have dreamed. The longing, the hope, and the familial themes fill each page -- Gardens of Water is simply breathtaking.”
— Calvin Crosby, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA
Gardens of Water is an enthralling story of two families, and two faiths, in Turkey at the time of the cataclysm of 1999. It tells of Sinan, whose daughter, Irem, dreams of escaping the confines of her family and the duties of a devout Muslim woman. She sees in Dylan, an American boy and her upstairs neighbor, the enticing promise of another life. But then a massive earthquake forces Sinan and his family to live as refugees in their own country and leads to a dangerous intimacy with their American neighbors, as Irem and Dylan fall in love. When Sinan finds himself entangled in a series of increasingly dangerous decisions, he will be pushed toward a final betrayal that will change everyone’s lives forever. Powerful and beautifully written, Alan Drew’s Gardens of Water marks the debut of a brilliant new American writer.
About the Author
The son of a lineman, Alan Drew has been climbing poles since he was six years old. With a lifetime dedicated to the power delivery industry, he has become a leading historian in its rich American history. Northwest Lineman College gave Alan the opportunity to explore and write an in-depth chronicle of the American lineman in his upcoming book, "The American Lineman: Honoring The Evolution and Importance of One of The Nation's Toughest, Most Admired Professions".
“Fascinating . . . a remarkable first novel [of] people struggling to define themselves in a world that seems against them.”
“A real triumph . . . Alan Drew explores, with respect and understanding, clashes between cultures, faiths, and generations. In the end, we find ourselves feeling close to the characters and their world, as it is the very world in which we live.”
–Yiyun Li, author of The Vagrants
“Sensitive and thought-provoking, Gardens of Water is set in a perfectly realized Istanbul, a city where traditionalism and modernity grind together like the fragments of a collapsing building.”
–The New York Times Book Review
“A penetrating, tightly focused novel that balances the sweetness of youth and the brooding anxieties of parenthood with a robust understanding of the Muslim-Westerner encounter.”
–Leila Aboulela, author of The Translator