Harem: The World Behind the Veil was originally published twenty-five years ago. It is now being republished with an introduction bringing in more current events in Turkey and the world, bringing to light the differences and similarities between now and a time where hstems were commonplace. As a family and cultural history, the details of the book are still relevant today, and it's interesting to see the author weave her own personal story into that of sultans and sultanas of the past, letting us see that what seems so foreign to most is recent history - or current events - for others.
The author does a great job at bringing her own voice into the retelling of the past, explaining in a way that modern readers will find interesting. From explaining the origins of the harem, clearing up Western modifications, to explaining in detail the rituals to castrate a eunuch, I was at times perplexed, horrified, amused, and curious.
This isn't a perfect book... At times I was bored but some sight repetition, but overall I think this is a good book. It has survived the past twenty-five years well, continuing to be interesting and informative both, and is a book that I would certainly recommend to anyone interested in the Middle East, Turkey, Islam, or even just a fragment of history that we know so little of.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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