Book Jacket


rank 5921
word count 33059
date submitted 02.07.2010
date updated 08.03.2014
genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Popular ...
classification: universal

Bitter Honey


A book full of raw emotion that will touch your heart forever.
Secrets, lies, pain and hope, spanning 3 generations.


Can the sins of our fathers ever be laid to rest, or will future generations carry within them the ripple effects of past sins?
Dark secrets can never lay hidden forever. Secrets and lies have a way of coming to light no matter how hard they are buried.

Kara Kiz’s courage helps to save her mother from terrible abuse, as she too tries to save herself from being abused by the wicked Taksim.
Manolya is devatasted when she finds out the real truth about her birth, and the impact it has on her life has tragic repercussions.

Come meet three generations of family as they battle through life, and follow their journey with them as they express courage, love and determination to overcome life's many challenges.

rate the book

to rate this book please Register or Login



, acceptence, courage, cyprus, elopement, england, grief, love, new life, pain, passion, strength and hope.

on 1 watchlists



To leave comments on this or any book please Register or Login

subscribe to comments for this book
John Warren-Anderson wrote 1351 days ago

This has the makings of an epic. I normaly do not like introductions, but yours works. It's short and it tips the reader straight into a story that grabs attention from the word go.
Very well done.

lizjrnm wrote 1358 days ago

This is a professionally written book that could become a classic when published for the masses! ERasy to back this one!

The Cheech Room

yasmin esack wrote 1392 days ago


I love Your cover. This stoRy is truly awesome and seems on for the Booker or Pulitzer prize.

Very admirable work. Congratulations many times over.

Humbly backed


lynn clayton wrote 1392 days ago

It's a strange world to western eyes and ruled by mores which I must say I don't understand, but the love Kara kiz has for her mother is something anyone can feel for and is movingly described.
Your dialogue is excellent and the scene where Taksim throws stones at the washing and goes on to assault Kara kiz is brilliant. But what a terrible world for women where at eleven they dare not go to school for fear of being raped because of their developing breasts.
I'm sitting here shaking with anger and telling myself I'd do all sorts of things to those men but I wonder if i would? Anyway, most definitely backed. Lynn

January wrote 1392 days ago

An amazing, evocative, lyrical, heart-felt, powerful novel that deserves its day to be read and approved by publishers.
Best January

Celine Zabel wrote 481 days ago


I have read the first two chapters of your book. I felt transported to a different place and time. Thank you for putting this into writing. I look forward to its completion and ultimate publication.

Celine Zabel
Lives Shattered: One Mother's Loss at the Hands of the Legal System

sherit wrote 524 days ago

Dear M.Mehmet
I've only read the first chapter so far, but am very interested in your story and in the characters. What a window into a different world you have given us, and immediately made us care about and feel sympathy for the characters. I'm very much looking forward to reading more chapters and seeing where things lead. For me the writing is almost as if you are telling me the story. Perhaps, not as polished as some, but intriguing nonetheless. Wishing you all the best,
Sheri Emery / Crazy Quilt

hwf1942 wrote 609 days ago

Dear M. Mehmet,

I have now had a chance to read the first 2 chapters of Bitter Honey. Your descriptions of the treatment of women in Turkish Cyprus in the 1930's were compelling and horrifying. Both chapters contained powerful passages and I do plan to read on when time permits. You obviously have an important and moving story to tell, and you tell it well. However, as far as I can see so far, your book would benefit from some editing, and corrections of grammar, but I would be careful to maintain your own particular rhythm and style, your voice, which are intrinsic to the charm of the narrative. A difficult story well-told. Congratulations.

KMac23 wrote 635 days ago

I felt drawn right into your lovely story right from the beginning and couldn't stop reading until the end. I love the Turkish perspective you brought to it rich in imagery and description. The love felt between the family members was very heartfelt and touching, dark scenes intermixed with hope. This was highly starred by me and backed!

A Gate Called Beautiful

Sandy Appleyard wrote 639 days ago

This is a very sad but heart warming story. You can tell from the first sentence how strong the main character is. It tears at your heart strings to read about what mom and daughter went through with each villain; but the positive support surrounding them will help lead the way. Backed and given six stars. Very well done.

Sandy Appleyard
'Blessed and Betrayed'

David Price wrote 639 days ago

M. Mehmet, I've read chapter 1 today, and am enthralled by your story-telling skills. You really paint an authentic and compelling picture of village life in Cyprus in the 1930's, and I look forward to reading more when time permits. High stars and a continuing place on my watchlist.
There are a few minor issues with typos, grammar and punctuation. I would be happy to tell you the things I spotted, if you like.
MASTER ACT: a memoir

Keith Gilbey wrote 643 days ago


What an unexpected delight! Gripped me right from the start. And so real! Please do not take no for an answer - this deserves to be published.


Joy Eastman wrote 706 days ago

Your story of a young girl and her mother with their many struggles is heartfelt and touching. I'm wondering if the book is fiction or perhaps based on a true life story. The events protrayed seem so real. Great job on that.
I know I wrote my memoir, God's Gracious Gift, to tell a true story but when I wrote Cursed it was based upon my mother's life yet a work of fiction. Funny how these things cross over.

Best of luck on this endeavor. Blessings, Joy (Gods' Gracious Gift)

irelandsmemories wrote 716 days ago

Hello Memhet

What a lovely, heartfelt story. The mother, daughter relationship is powerful and uplifting. The love for each other flows off the page. Your island descriptions are captivating and the other characters, although distasteful, at times sound authentic for that period.

The writing is beautifully articulated, in a simple and readable form.

Highly starred!

Good Luck with this book, it is a definite publishable book!


Olive Field wrote 717 days ago

This is a wonderful story. I was only taking a look at your writing after you backed my book and I've read four chapters already. So it drew me in quickly and kept me reading. I think this will do very well. You make us care about Kara Kiz and her mam straight away and dislike other characters instantly. well done.
Highly stared and watch listed. Will give time on my shelf next rotation.
Best wishes and many thanks,

maretha wrote 722 days ago

Dear M.Mehmet
I enjoyed the story very much,especially because of it's setting in Cyprus and the glimpses you've given us into the lives of your characters. Here and there through out your script were a few minor errors mainly punctuation and sentence construction BUT nothing that cannot be corrected with proper editing.
However for any reader to fall in love or hate a character for example, they must speak i.e. direct speech is vital. The reader does not just want to hear from the narrator. When Cambulet tells Kara Kiz not to worry after his family snubbed her; their letters to one another let it be in the first person; when he angrily leaves his father's house after their elopement when he leaves a heartbroken father and small children,an angry mother. Let them speak. You've already set the scene;ch.8 has so much potential drama. He took his shotgun. Put yourself in his place. His wife begged him not to go. Why not let us hear her? Aklso when she lost her first born we want to suffer with her,cry as she sobs.
This story is worth a movie but only you can make them come alive to create a true epic.
Am backing yor story and scored highly. Look forward to more drama as you complete the saga.
Kind regards
Maretha African Adventures of Flame,Family,Furry and Feathered Friends

celticwriter wrote 734 days ago

Nice, stimulating journey. Nice way you blend your storytelling!


celticwriter wrote 740 days ago

Firstly - thank you for backing LONDON!
Your write a good, clear synopsis. Easily takes one into your first chapter. Nice journey you've started!
Placing yours on my watchlist for now. (Make a great movie.)


faith rose wrote 743 days ago

Dear M.,

Wow. I am really blown away by your introduction and first chapter. This is a beautifully written, heartwrenching, deeply moving story. As you said in your profile, I have no doubt this is indeed a story that will stay with me long after I finish reading it.

Your opening is truly captivating, as she sits holding the "frail lined hand" of her beloved. You give such a beautiful picture of love at the beginning, and I felt I could continue reading through the pain holding onto the glimmers of hope you portrayed.

The first person voice of Kara is brilliantly done. You capture such an emotional quality through the eyes of this fatherless child. My heart was ripped out by the evil of Murat bey and Taksim, and I felt such empathy for Kara and mum.

This is a beautiful piece, rich in culture and human nature. I will definitely carry on and read more. Starring highly and wishing your every success.

All the very best,
Faith Rose
Now To Him

ShrapnelJones wrote 749 days ago

Yeah, there's a real beat to your writing. I think you could lose some commas, use more full stops, other than that it's a joy to read. You have your style down, can't say better than that. With that kind of beat you could write almost anything and it would be more than readable.

Best of luck.


nautaV wrote 765 days ago

Dear M.Mehmet, I've already read the introduction and the first chapter. Your book is very interesting. It helps us to see the atmosphere of early 20-th century Turkish society with the eyes of a teenager, Kara Kiz. Your book arises emotions, such as pity,sympathy, anger and it gives birth to hope that poor Cinderella will become a Princess one day. Your style is very descriptive but why not using more dialogues and pictures - they make narration more vivid. Where you use them, you are a success.
Now, to be helpful (if I ever can), let's see some narrow points.
1 Ch.I, #6 : " My mum would then lovingly serve it to people, WHO visited us..."
2. # 23 A typo - "... small islands off the coaSt of Turkey..."
"...large mosques and HOUSES(?) (buildings), belonged to PASHAS (no apostrophes)..."
"...he was lucky (no to) enough..."
"...A rude AND arrogant man."
#26 : Taksim: ..." I could hear you..." Why not "I've heard you..." ? and later: " You sounded like..." Why not: "You were noisy, like a couple of..."?
"...both of us were angry WITH him."

Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading. There's really the touch of bitterness in what you write. It's the taste of life as it was.
Thanks a lot: six stars and backed

Emma.L.H. wrote 801 days ago

I will definitely be reading more of this soon. Set in the time period that I enjoy the most. Backed.

Vishal Anand wrote 803 days ago


What a start with the little girl. You could not have done better than that. Few instances really made me smile. Like, the one when the girl wanted to throw water on Aba and the other when she compared her with a snake. Children really have innocence in their thoughts, that is well shown in the book. Will try to go ahead with the story when I get time. Kept in my WL for now.


sheila cooper wrote 859 days ago

I've only read a small amount but already feel your poignant and sympathetically viewed writing watchlisted to continue reading as soon as I get some time -:)

Wanttobeawriter wrote 869 days ago

This is an interesting story. Your narrator is sympathetic; we all know what being poor and bullied besides feels like so she’s an easy person to whom to relate. I’ve never been to Cypress so I liked your descriptions of the island a lot. So much, I’m adding this to my shelf. Wannabeawriter; Who killed the President?

Sharahzade wrote 871 days ago

M. Mehmet

This story produces strong emotions and for that I commend you as a writer of merit. To me, the story is everything and Bitter Honey is indeed that. Not in my wildest imaginings can I understand the way of life you describe for women. Even in the 1930's and perhaps especially during that era, where I live there is freedom for all, including women. So the emotion evoked reading your story produced extreme anger at the way your characters behaved causing the suffering of those innocent and fragile. It made me want to come over there and slap a few men around.

That sort of attitude, culture or whatever you choose to call it, has had an impact on my own life in the past. I was outraged that people who call themselves parents should feel justified in controlling the lives of their offspring like little dictators. In spite of the love that some show their children, what good has it done? There is still profound crime committed by those who have those beliefs.

What I mean to say is that your story is poignant to the extreme. I admire you for the courage to write it.

Sincere thanks to you for backing my book, A King in Time.


Mary Enck
A King in Time

Sinharani wrote 919 days ago

I was drawn to the title of the book. It indeed is a story about bitter honey. The lives of the characters are bittersweet and although they live happy lives there is always some form of sadness that lurks round the corner to mar that happiness. Truly Bitter honey.

I liked all the characters. They were real and well rounded and I could not find fault in your dealings with any of them. They were described as they are and even through their actions and speech the reader could see who they really are like. The pace moved evenly and there was a healthy mix of dialogue interspersed with the the narrative. There was never a moment of doubt or boredom reading your story.

The plot and the theme are very believable and you painted a beautiful picture of life in Cyprus. It is all the more intriguing specially for someone who has never been to Cyprus to hear about what life is like there. I liked the way you used local names of the people, and how they were addressed. The professions the people of the town and village were involved in and their lifestyles were vividly depicted.

I have one suggestion and that is you real through it carefully for spelling errors. There were also a few instances where you had left out articles. A "the" or an "a" was sometimes missing in some places.

I'm giving you 6 stars and will give you some shelf life next week.


Chocolate Cake Dreams

Stark Silvercoin wrote 1019 days ago

Bitter Honey is a sweeping family drama that is a real joy to read for those who like realistic literary fiction. Author M.Mehmet pulls us right into the story with perfect descriptions that let us feel the heat of Cypress and the society in which the main character, Kara Kiz, lives.

The book tells the tale of three generations within a family through what I believe will eventually become several books. The posted chapters here for Bitter Honey mostly deal with Kara, though the rich way other characters are described leads me to feel that they will be featured more in other books. If not, then it’s still good because we have a wealth of sub-characters that are very true to life.

The dialog is very strong, with each character talking appropriately based on their social status and age within the story.

But the true strength of Bitter Honey I think is the emotions contained within the pages. Partly because the characters seem so real, the trials they go through make us angry, or sad, or happy. In fact, this novel reads much more like a true story than a fictional tale. The introduction kind of suggests that this is true, though I don’t know if this was done to actually imply that the author is in fact Kara Kiz, or if it was done as a clever way to begin an epic tale. If the former is true, perhaps that could be a little more spelled out for readers. But either way, Bitter Honey is a great read. I can see it being popular with both the book club circuit and those looking for a great read for their summer vacation. I have little doubt that it will do well once published.

John Breeden II
Old Number Seven

katie78 wrote 1025 days ago

i am drawn to the title and book over as well as your short pitch. i love family sagas. i think pitches are really hard and your long pitch could use a tweak. the question you open with is answered immediately in the next line. and your third line is a repetition of the second.

i'm not sure the introduction is doing its job. because it is over so fast, i don't make an emotional connection to the mc. the details of the first main chapter are more in depth, but it is so chock full of background that it moves too slow for me.

i wish you'd focus on one scene and show us some action from your mc- like with the game of marbles. this scene is vivid and interesting. starting here and weaving the background in later might help me connect to the mc's story better.

anyway, ignore anything that doesn't help. thanks for the read.

Andi Brown wrote 1046 days ago

Hi M,

I think you have makings of a very special book. You book is very atmospheric and you do a good job of describing hte characters and their situations.
I do have some suggestions. I would try to avoid cliches like "worked like a slave." I'm a bg believer in the writer's axiom "show don't tell." Tell us what she had to do (aside from avoiding his advances) that made her a slave. I also think that there's some unnecessary adjectives - sorrowful tears. Tears are by definition sorrowful; you don't need to tell us that. Sometimes, simpler is better. The same with "made fun of her cruelly."

You have a wonderful story to tell and I wish you all the best with it. And thank you again for backing Animal Cracker - it really means a lot!\


Red2u wrote 1112 days ago

the book draws you right in have WL and rated. if you could take a look at mine Illusions of Comfort also on lies and despair. thanks


Pia wrote 1164 days ago


Bitter Honey - A great title. I warmed to Kara Kiz, she got spirit and this promises to be a very moving story. I like the voice and the atmosphere created. Lovely lyrical writing, too. Came back to refresh my comment and give the story a handful of stars :) Pia

Hampstead wrote 1167 days ago

I also agree that the introduction is superb: it is moving, and then the reader is introduced to the background story, long-ago in a faraway country. It is often the beginning of a book which decides whether the reader carries on, and "Bitter Honey" passes the test.

Backed, with pleasure.

Michael Clifford

Sometime in Andalusia - Tales to read quickly but to never forget.

Clare Morris wrote 1172 days ago

Beautiful and tragic. A tale of simplicity, but with such vivid detail. I have a lump in my throat and love your story so far.

Backed with pleasure and I wish you all the best - definitely deserves the editor's desk.

Clare Morris
The Cloud Drivers: The Giant's Storm

CarolinaAl wrote 1210 days ago

I read your introduction and first chapter.

General comments: An engaging start to what promises to be a captivating story. A sympathetic main character. Wonderful details. Atmospheric. Good descriptions. Not a lot of tension. Good pacing.

Specific comments regarding the introduction:
1) 'I will always want you near to me, just like I did the first time we met ........' When using ellipses ( ... ), only use three dots. Using more dots pulls the reader out of your story while they try to figure out what you mean to imply with so many dots. You don't want that.

Specific comments on chapter one:
1) 'But then would laugh when I would try and justify my mothers actions.' Mothers (plural) should be mother's (possessive). Same thing with 'After a hard days work.' Days (plural) should be day's (possessive). There are more cases of plural form being used when the possessive form is appropriate.
2) ' ... careful not to bee seen by anyone.' 'Bee' should be 'be.'
3) 'My mum would then lovingly serve it to people that visited us.' 'That' should be 'who.' Same thing with 'Yet these were the same people that he gladly took food ...' When referring to people always use 'who' rather than 'that.' There are more cases of this type of problem.
4) "But Aysel aba I don't think I can marry again." Commas before and after 'Aysel aba.' When you address someone in dialogue, offset their name or title with commas. There are more cases of this type of problem.
5) 'How will you one day be able to give her a dowry for when she gets married." Punctuate this question with a question mark.
6) "The poor girl will end up getting married when she is 13 or so." Spell out numbers 1-99. There are more cases of this type of problem.
7) 'Aysel aba's harsh words made want to throw another glass of water all over her.' Insert 'me' after 'made.'
8) 'She also spoke of the small islands off the coat of Turkey.' 'Coat' should be 'coast.'

I hope this critique will help you polish your all important first chapter. These are just my opinions. Use what works for you and discard the rest.

Thank you for backing "Savannah Fire."

Happy new year.


meemers wrote 1267 days ago

There is a true need to hold back tears with this one. It is a masterpiece that should be published, no question.

i will back it as soon as i can
all the best
Fate's Chastening
i did the star thingy too

Neville wrote 1271 days ago

Your short pitch is excellent, it tells us quite a lot from a few words which is the main purpose.
A book that spill's over with emotion from begining to end. and surely must touch the reader.
You bring out the culture and customs with great clarity
I think you have put a lot of effort behind the writing of this book and it has paid off.
On my shelf!! Backed!


Neville The Secrets of the Forest - The Time Zone.

flower girl wrote 1323 days ago

I came across this on someone's shelf and was immediately captivated by the title and when I saw it was based in Cyprus I was hooked. This is an amazing story and is beautifully told. It flows well and the characters and dialogue are very real. You express the emotions exceptionally well too. Backed.

CarolinaAl wrote 1325 days ago

A gripping journey filled with surprises. Well-crafted characters with real emotions. Excellent dialogue and narrative. Lovely prose. Intriguing storyline. Lucid writing. Backed.

GK Stritch wrote 1333 days ago

Dear M. Mehmet,

Bitter Honey stings.

Best and backed.

GK Stritch
CBGB Was My High School

zan wrote 1339 days ago

Bitter Honey


Backed weeks ago after reading some, left on my WL for a while and only had time today to dip further in. I found this dramatic, good literary fiction and the first person voice quite effective. "Pure as the cotton grows" is a shocking, very moving first chapter - an outrage of course in parts - and I think provides a very sympathetic view of the vulnerability of women and young girls. Effective, brilliant writing if I do say so. Best with it.

Pia wrote 1345 days ago


Bitter Honey - A great title. I warmed to Kara Kiz, she got spirit and this promises to be a very moving story. I like the voice and the atmosphere created. Lovely wiriting, too.

Backed with pleasure, Pia (Course of Mirrors)

Beval wrote 1350 days ago

Different attitudes and ideas from a culture that is close to Europe geographically, but whose ifluences are far further flung.
I found the pace gentle, but compelling. There was an elegance to the prose only slightly marred by the over use of the word "that", something easily corrected.
A fascinating read and one I am happy to back.

John Warren-Anderson wrote 1351 days ago

This has the makings of an epic. I normaly do not like introductions, but yours works. It's short and it tips the reader straight into a story that grabs attention from the word go.
Very well done.

Stephanie225 wrote 1354 days ago

I read chapter 3.
It was pretty good so far.
Some nitpicks. Some of your sentances got really long. Maybe divide them up some more?
Also, “And took extra care curling my.” Hair?

nsllee wrote 1357 days ago

Hi M

Love the title. The pitch sounded like one of those Bollywood melodramas, but the first chapter was so wonderful, I was completely engrossed. The setting is not one I am familiar with and I found it so exotic and appealing, and how I loathe Murat bey and his son! Have to read more just to make sure that Kara and her mother are alright. Backed.


lizjrnm wrote 1358 days ago

This is a professionally written book that could become a classic when published for the masses! ERasy to back this one!

The Cheech Room

lizjrnm wrote 1358 days ago

This is very well crafted and polished so far! Compelling!
Easy to back.

The Cheech Room

Telegraph wrote 1358 days ago

An awesome story filled with explosive emotion and polished charcters that keep us engaged. C W

JD Revene wrote 1364 days ago

The opening chapter is wonderful; you paint a wonderfuly real picture of a place and time that is unfamiliar to me. Your main character is vulnerable, but strong and easy to relate to. Her innocence and maturity sit easily together. Little to offer by way of constructive criticism, the style is a little old fashioned, but that suits the work.

Backed with pleasure.

DMR wrote 1366 days ago

Bitter Honey - I found myself almost immediately captivated this story, chapter 1 definitely draws the reader in, your writing is absolutely delicious, and read so truthful, I had to check to see if this was fiction or not... harrowing, heart-rending, and ultimately heart-lifting - well done you! Backed
Good Blood

karien wrote 1366 days ago

A very powerful first chapter. How I love otherness. Though I wouldn't want to change places with Kara or her mother.
Karien - A Bird in a pram

Ann Mynard wrote 1367 days ago

Mehmet, You've set down such a story - young girl growing up in the midst of deep troubles. Then there's young love to make us hope for better things. It all makes for a rivetting read and I was glad to know it is fiction. All the best for your book.
Ann Mynard (Windshadow)

Kevin Alex Baker wrote 1369 days ago


Wow, I really love Kara Kiz as your protagonist! You do a great job at painting her economically and sexually oppressive world, and everything to love and hate within it. So hard to see a young girl go through all that, but you create your story very well.

Nice work! Backed! Looking forward to your thoughts on Head Games!

Kevin Alex Baker
Head Games

speaksthetruth wrote 1371 days ago

Sweet honey