Friday, July 13, 2012

How Does Society Influence Love or Ethnical Love in Literary Fiction - Guest Post by Ayshe Talay-Ongan

Happy Friday!

Few days ago I wrote a review about Turquoise, a Love Story by Ayshe Talay-Ongan. Today, I am hosting her guest post. Ladies and gentlemen, here it is!

How Does Society Influence Love or Ethnical Love in Literary Fiction

Ayshe Talay-Ongan, PhD, Psychologist and Author
Turquoise, A Love Story

Love, by its very definition, cannot be unethical. Love is central to our individuality, humanity and spiritual life. Lack of love in life is a gray existence at best, and the pursuit of love in its many guises drives us, sometimes to extremes. And therein lies the question: it is what we choose to do in the name of love thatDmay be unethical by society’s standards. And this conundrum is a common the central theme in literary fiction as it allows us to experience the drama, the tragedy or the triumph of unsanctioned love from the comfort and distance of our own lives: from Madame Bovary, to Dr Jivago, from Tristan and Isolde to La Traviata.

What happens if a young woman finds herself being deeply drawn to her girlfriend’s husband? If at first sight, she senses that she has come upon her destiny? Being the fallible creatures that we are, we often find ourselves being allured by the ‘forbidden fruit.’ Our heart does not always listen to the dictates of our rational mind, and indeed, there is something quite irrational about falling in love.

As an observer, our first reaction to that young woman would be to shake a finger and say what the society has taught us: stay away at all costs. Having a relationship with a married man runs against our societal mores and violates the sanctity of marriage. And so she should stay clear of him. And she does. If it only it ended the process of loving that person…it doesn’t. Their friendship deepens, and with it, their love. Such loves have cost thrones. They endure time and sacrifice. Should some loves have higher rights, if the relationship is based on the principle of not hurting anyone and bearing this love silently?

I explore these themes in Turquoise A Love Story. One magazine said it could not review it because it was a tale of adultery. Others have sung its praises as a courageous tale of real life love, unlike those in films. One thing is for sure: it is unlikely that this is the last we will read of forbidden love. And it is how we carry that cross that determines whether it is ethical or not although society will be quick to judge by appearances.


Thank you for the guest post, Ayshe Talay-Ongan!

Summary of Turquoise, A Love Story:

Set against transcendent love, unrelenting hatred and loyalties to friends and family, Turquoise is the story of an enduring and passionate love affair between Yasmin and Renan, which spans two decades, two marriages and three continents.

Yasmin and her Armenian classmate Ani were oblivious to ethnic differences during their school years in Istanbul. Years later they run into each other, and Ani introduces Renan, her husband, to Yasmin. At that moment under the blazing autumn skies, as Yasmin locks eyes with Renan, she knows that she has come upon her destiny. But political tensions in their land soon force Renan, her secret love, and his family to immigrate to Sydney.

A few years on, Yasmin's diplomat father is appointed as the Turkish Consul General to Los Angeles where the family faces a devastating tragedy that will impact their lives in ways unfathomable. She is now forced to make a choice between passion that defines her and reason that guides her.

When so much is stacked against Yasmin and Renan, how can love possibly triumph?

Happy reading!


  1. I have SO much to say not only about what I've just read above that the author had said about this book yet I am literally sitting here, barely holding myself up. I signed onto the pc to see if I could shake off a bit of how horrible I'm feeling (I've been very sick for a long time) and usually when I see books in your newsletter that I feel interested in I will bookmark it and come back to it later. However, even as I sit here on the verge of dialing 911 (literally scared to death), I HAD to come by and share what I could muster up until I feel well enough to compose a better message. A well written message instead of the mess this one probably is with my brain half working under the circumstances. I am a very strong advocate and activist of many things, but one of the strongest is freedom of speech as well as choice. When I read that this author was turned down by a magazine for it's "taboo" content I am disgusted at the judgmental closed minded society in which we live. This book sounds beyond amazing, breathtaking, Beautiful, heart wrenching and grabbed me so much in all it's description that even though I A). am barely holding myself up and B). my kindle is not working well and yet I completely passed by the contests for a new kindle win op because of the power that this book managed to have on me.

    I would LOVE to come back and re-post a message that makes more sense when I feel well enough, but for now I just had to say to you, thank you for your newsletter and to the author thank you for making me feel such intensity over the description of a book that I feel profoundly compelled to want to crawl into it immediately. I will speak for human kind when I say I am SO sorry you were turned down by such a magazine (although here we are because of them generating more buzz which means more controversy and more sales to you which is wonderful)and I say thanks to the magazine who didn't turn you away (they deserve the recognition for being part of our freedoms) and this wonderful blog for bringing this book into my thoughts. I wonder if that magazine turned "Fifty Shades" away!!?

    I am a single mom without much and that's okay. My daughter's and I lost everything we owned, I got very sick and through three years of that, learned the little we have is appreciated very much as we rebuild. But it it music and books I could not do without and this one is going in my MUST be read wishlist immediately. It's a rare thing for a book to pull me in so profoundly that I would sit here feeling like death and pass up on kindle contests to write this comment.

    The cover, description and the Author's words have won my heart.

    Thank you Inga for bringing this to the readers of your blog.

    All the best and I will be back to clean up this message that is not composed as well as I would normally do, but I hope my point was made to a degree.


    P.S. Please also excuse typos. I have to sign off now and can't re-read this at the moment.

    1. Hi Melissa,

      Thank you for your comment!
      I hear you on the freedom of choice! I do understand though that some publishers chose not to publish the books which are outside of their range. It's also a choice. Lot of authors are denied and refused before they get their books published. Luckily Turquoise got published too! So did Fifty Shades of Grey.

    2. Hi Inga,

      I completely agree and It's more often than not a great thing when a book or an album stirs the controversy. That's so much better for the author/artist. My message was not a complaint at all. It was completely a positive in the sense that your post and the authors words and description had such a strong pull on my heart to stop by here for that. It sounds amazing!

      As I said I was typing while feeling completely sick as I still am so my message may not have come across as I has hoped it would. I know the music industry, Gov/Pharma/Big corp., all too well and it is really all about the same political/money bottom line as well as being politically correct so as not to offend the easily offended which leads to big corps. loss of money. It's a game of power and money for all things.

      All the best,