by Patti O’Brien, Librarian bookette
I’m excited to tell you about a wonderfully exotic book that Harper was kind enough to send me for review. It’s The Oracle of Stamboul by Michael David Lukas, and for me, it was a “once upon a time” book.
Once upon a time, a baby girl was born in a land far away, and a flock of special birds heralded her arrival, and went with her wherever she went. For a long time, Eleanora Cohen (for that was her name) lived with her father, who traveled quite a bit, and her stepmother. Eleanora was a very intelligent girl, and remembered everything she was told, and many things that she read. Her father taught her to read at an early age, and she could not get enough of books. Her stepmother stopped Eleanora’s reading when she disobeyed and read when she was supposed to be doing housework.
One day, Eleanora’s father told her he would be going away on a business trip to Stamboul, a large city that she had heard about her whole life, and her father would be gone for a month. Rather than stay with her stepmother, Eleanora decided to stow away among her father’s traveling things, and reveal herself when they reached Stamboul. And this was just the beginning of an adventure that would include the elegant city of Stamboul, living in the beautiful home of her father’s business partner, espionage, a sultan, political intrigue, and the possibility of an unexpected future.
The Oracle of Stamboul was nothing like I anticipated, based on the original summary I read, and it is a beautiful story that I’m glad I had the opportunity to read.