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Gardens of Water by Alan Drew
Gardens of Water is set in Turkey at the end of the last century. Sinan Basioglu is a Kurdish man and devout Muslim living just outside Istanbul with his wife, 15-year-old daughter, Irem, and nine-year-old son, Ismail. They are neighbors to Marcus Roberts, an American missionary living with his wife, Sarah, and 17-year-old son, Dylan. A large earthquake destroys their homes, killing Sarah, who managed to save Ismail's life in the process. Sinan is grateful for Ismail's safety, but chafes under having to live in the refugee camp erected by Marcus' Christian group who want to tend to their needs as well as convert them. A budding relationship between Irem and Dylan further complicates their lives, and Sinan is determined to have his daughter strictly follow the dictates of her religion while she longs for the freedom that every teenager thinks is their privilege. Alan Drew's debut novel has received positive reviews with USA Today saying, "This is a fascinating, heartbreaking book. People offering solace in these pages often say, 'May your pain pass quickly.' This world and these characters are so real that you wish that for them, too."