“Three Daughters of Eve” by Elif Shafak

It is in the duality that one often finds tranquillity in the singularity, and just like that when one’s ideologies are transformed into an incomprehensible viewpoint where you neither remain an entity nor a collection of iotas, you apprehend the ever-lasting alteration. The discord among the lines so clearly drawn and so blindly followed, you learn to question the unknown, not in a compromising manner but in a more susceptible form where even the anonymity that remains offers not pessimism or dishevelment but instead offers a piece of wisdom to dwell into further and to uncover the warps of similitude in monotony.

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More often than not, the recurring circle of trauma and grievances can not only isolate but suffer incessantly like the pang of insomnia that hits you at 3 a.m. with an infinite chain of nightmares that you would rather disappear from than live through but things as always are simplified into intricacies when once, one learns to look into others for means other than themselves. To actually delve in further (without trespassing one’s privacy) and to apprehend their personality and the reasons and consequences behind each and every tenet, to understand the differences among us which makes us effortlessly similar like two hues splurged together in the spectral sky, different in retrospection but similar in the incessant allure.

The Author, Plot and More Information

According to the information in her acclaimed book, she is one of the most influential international writers and tends to focus on subjects involving both the East and the West. She has written over 10 influential novels and her work has been translated into over 40 different languages. Simultaneously, she is also a public speaker and has been awarded the Chevalier des Arts er des Lettres and has been nominated for manifold other awards as well.

Here is a list of her notable works:

  • The Forty Rules of Love
  • The Bastard of Istanbul
  • 10 minutes 38 seconds in this Strange World
  • Honour
  • The Architect’s Apprentice
  • The Gaze
  • The Flea Palace
Elif Shafak - Wikipedia
Elif Shafak  Picture Credits: https://en.wikipedia.org

The main characters in the book include:

  1. Nazperi Nalbantoglu (Peri)
  2. Shirin
  3. Mona
  4. Professor Azur

The main story revolves around the boundless friendship of three versatile friends, Peri, Shirin and Mona (The Confused, The Sinner and the Believer) who happen to cross paths at Oxford, all with their own individual ideologies and spectrums of reasoning and debate that not only binds them together but also tears them apart simultaneously. Along with the scandal that erupted with their common professor at Oxford who and I quote, “Teaches God”. This leads them to question the boundaries of all religion and philosophy they knew and to come to par with their traumatic pasts and their ongoing experiences just to lead to a future that is cleverly mentioned in subsequent chapters giving you an insight of the past that led to the present you’re reading.

My Review and Experience Regarding The Book

This book has been an entire philosophical journey from not only religious and conventional perspectives to a debate with rationality in religion and the conflicting ideas surrounding it. Built along the lines of scepticism to induce a sense of knowing of something, this book is a perfect example of learning to live in the present while resenting the past and how that consequentially affects a single individual, and then just like that in a chain effect ends up disrupting others around them.

It is not only an exquisite play on words but just the use of a wide yet easily understandable vocabulary to produce a literary masterpiece that astonishes you along with every page. There is something that is always unprecedented until the very end because the plot does shift abruptly and you feel as if you are taking this rollercoaster ride of sentiments, empathy, sympathy and manic as the main character evolves and so does the circumstances.

“Curiosity is sacred, uncertainty is a blessing.”

– Elif Shafak, Three Daughters of Eve

Although the sort of plot that I was initially expecting through the blurb was more focused on towards the end I would have liked if it was highlighted further but the detailed background that was shown or more likely than that, induced on the reader was also priceless as you get to know that it is more of a psychological deep dive into the main character’s synopsis rather than the general circumstances. The plot definitely does keep you glued to the book and you just can’t seem to get enough of it, the differences, the altering and metamorphosis themes along with the imagery that plays with the subtle emotions giving them innumerable hues that blend together on the palate of your brain and every word gets cemented.

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My Favorite Lines From the Book

Here are a few lines from the book Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak that have stayed with me:

(P.S. All of these quotes/lines ARE from Three Daughters of Eve and they are written by Elif Shafak, I was just too lazy to write it beside every line.)

  • “Though easy to forget at times, the city was a stormy sea swollen with drifting icebergs of masculinity, and it was better to manoeuvre away from them, gingerly and smartly, for one never knew how much danger lay beneath the surface.”
  • “What they lacked in love, they made up for in resentment.”
  • “It’s hard to break our chains when some of us love being shackled.”
  • “There is no wisdom without love, no love without freedom, and no freedom unless we dare to walk away from what we have become.”
  • “Where there is no possibility of change, there is no ground for a real dialogue.”
  • “He had always reasoned that if you didn’t know how to take a punch, you wouldn’t know how to fight.”

“An emptiness inside her chest, so profound and so permanent that she imagined it could be compared only with the absence of God. Yes, perhaps that was it. She carried the absence of God within. No wonder it felt so heavy.”

– Elif Shafak, Three Daughters of Eve

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