Book Jacket

 

rank 186
word count 50038
date submitted 22.05.2012
date updated 28.06.2013
genres: Non-fiction, Biography, Harper True...
classification: moderate
incomplete

Confessions of a Dervish

Adina Akkaya

Lucia takes a life-changing trip to Kosovo with her volatile, clandestine boyfriend. Held at his mercy, her freedom cannot be bought.

 

Lucia, a London girl in her early twenties, discovers the heart of the Balkans when she follows her clandestine boyfriend, Arben, to rural Kosovo. There, she is coerced into a convenience marriage and later suspects that he desires nothing more than documents to stay in the UK.
He plays a dirty game lacking heart and soul, beating her into submission. Once a colourful girl, Lucia is sucked in and spat out to face matters of conscience and moral dilemma.
Spinning dangerously out of control, she must keep the events secret to protect the honour and hearts of her long suffering family. The road to freedom is long and marred with the trinity of self destruction: fear, guilt and self loathing. Each with so much to lose, Lucia and Arben clash in a furious battle of will.
She and her lawyer take on the legal system in Kosovo, and indeed Arben.
Lucia is reborn as she finds solace in the realms of dream and imagination. Recovering from the cold touch of near insanity she seizes a chance to travel to Istanbul where she meets the man, quite literally, of her dreams.
The book is based on true events.

 
rate the book

to rate this book please Register or Login

 

tags

abuse, albania, balkans, birds, convenience marriage, dervish, dreams, england, freedom, hate, iceland, immigration, istanbul, italy, kosovo, lies, li...

on 27 watchlists

55 comments

 

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

subscribe to comments for this book
Brian G Chambers wrote 532 days ago

Adina
Wow you have really blown me away with this. You have a very powerful story here and you tell it well. You have brought your charachter to life in such a way that you can feel her emotions. I have read through to the end of chapter five, and it was here I spotted the odd error, but nothing that cannot be easily sorted. I want to read this right through, only time prevents me just now, but I will come back and finish it, as I find it fantastic. I have put it on my WL and given it high stars. I will definately be backing this in the future when I find space (it is such a pity one can only shelf five books at a time) I wish you good luck with this, but I don't think you need it with such a great story.
Best wishes Brian.

faith rose wrote 661 days ago

Dear Adina,

I've just finished your first three chapters, and I'm hooked. This really isn't my typical read, but you have truly held my interest and given my heart such a tender place for Lucia. Her first person point of view displays so clearly her trusting nature. She is eager to please, and eager to love and be loved. Lucia's loving Italian family gives a beautiful foundation for the wonderful, strong person she has become. My heart is yearning for her story to be one of joy and goodness and love, but it seems sadness and pain and abuse must come first. Arben is so enticing, and it is easy to understand how Lucia was swept away at first, yet it hurt my heart to feel how she seemed to lose a little bit of herself at every turn. Sadly, how often this occurs to women around the world. By the end of chapter three, we can clearly see a terrible, ugly Arben emerging. Indeed he is a "Hulk." And to think, all Lucia wanted was "to love and be loved unconditionally..."

I applaud you, Adina, for writing such a beautiful, vital, relevant story. It is one based on truly painful events and one that I can only imagine will be of comfort to so many others in such difficult, trying situations. Giving you many shiny stars today and holding on my WL to read more. Wishing you every success with your story and with your beautiful life.

All the very best,
Faith Rose
Now To Him

RMAWriteNow wrote 552 days ago

Hi Adina: I have just finished reading your first chapter.

You won me over with your very first paragraph which I thought quite beautiful. It wasn't a stretch to know that I would love the rest from that point on.
I was simply blown away by the intensity of feeling between Lucia and Arben. It is difficult to write such a very deep connection between two people and make it utterly convincing, but you manage it with a tenderness of word and action that I have rarely seen.
The reaction from Arben when Lucia came back from her trip was perfect, so well observed. But I could have picked many points of such quality.
Having seen both the long and short pitch it will be interesting to see if the darker side of your story can be as good as the light. I have a feeling it will.
Top marks and congratulations.
RMA
The Snow Lily

Jane Mauret wrote 504 days ago

Hello, Adina
I imagine this is your story although your MC is called Lucia so maybe Adina/Alexia are nom de plumes (?); but whatever, it does not affect the writing.
I really enjoyed this when on my first outing some months ago now.
I was just as mesmerized second time around.
You have what seems to be an effortless gift of conveying so much, so vividly, and with such economy, eg, The air was thick with the scent of petroleum and burnt hay.
All I can say is that I wish I write with such fluency. I can’t understand why more people have not backed you. The truth is that this is only the 4th or 5th book here that I will read the whole of. I don’t chuck around such compliments lightly either as is clear by some of my more harsh comments re some books.
I get a sense of the characters very easily and understand entirely the feeling that Lucia has when she feels so alone at times. Not sure if that is because I have lived in some odd places and had that feeling too, but again, it just adds to the strength of your writing. I think what you achieve in this bio, is a distance of yourself from the MC, which is attractive because that means you are not all about you; you are very matter of fact in your portrayal which is a gift.
I also do not notice any grammar or punctuation issues which is always a bonus!
I am going to back you now as I really want to see this book get to the ED.
Bye for now.
Jane Mauret
I Can Laugh – NOW!

karelkoninkrijk wrote 204 days ago

well written, gripping story. Bravo. I'll back it

karelkoninkrijk wrote 300 days ago

Hi, I've only read 5 chapters.\Mixed culture relations - as I have so often seen in Africa, don't work, especially when there is a difference in belief as well and Islam is most intolerable as far as that is concerned. You always have to adapt to their customs and belief. It doesn't amaze me that this a true story. But it is well written and may serve as a warning for others who fall in love. I'll read more soon but rate it now and back you. Your story is worth telling. Karel from African Diary.

Iva P. wrote 352 days ago

Considering the verbosity of the long pitch, I did not expect to find clear and simple text inside. Yet I did. Happy to back this.
Iva P. / Fame and Infamy

Sebnem wrote 442 days ago

Confessions of a Dervish-Adina Akkaya

Dear Adina,
Your book has been on my Watchlist ever since I joined the site because I found your pitch interesting as it mentions Istanbul, my hometown. I just read your first 4 chapters and I am sorry it took me so long to read your beautiful book. Your prologue is absolutely wonderful, poetic, yet gripping. You tell your story so well. I can imagine the magnetism between you and Arben, the love, the ecstasy and the innocence of your feelings; the unconditional love you gave to him and his problematic character building up as the story unfolds. It is non-fiction, yet it moves like fiction. I want to find out more, read more, and see you happy and find the love of your life you deserve. I will back you as soon as I can. Best wishes, best regards, high stars and congradulations! Sebnem-The Child of Heaven
P.S. I know all the songs above!

romanrunner wrote 444 days ago

Adina,

I enjoy your writing. It flows well to me and I really enjoy that you don't have long strings of adjectives. You use one metaphor at a time and they actually WORK as opposed to when writers use multiple metaphors to describe one thing and confuse the reader. I also like the interpolation of narration and dialogue. I think it is used in justly balanced quantities. The only thing that is throwing me is the pacing. It feels rushed to me. It opens as a romantic adventure. As a reader that is something I want to get lost in. I want to feel the romance, the beating of their hearts as their lips press together for the first time. What was that moment like? Where was the sun or moon in the sky? Could she see a constellation beyond his silky hair or was she so entranced that everything but his face was black? These are romantic elements I want. Now maybe you're just waiting to satiate my craving for these elements later in the story (I've not read it all). But I feel as though you're racing through the beginning to get to the true start of the story and if the writer seems anxious to get the beginning of the story over and done with, the reader can't help but feel similarly. Perhaps I'm way off. Just things to consider. Starred well.

~Roman

Jannypeacock wrote 445 days ago

I thought I read this before, either you have done a serious edit, or I am mistaken. Either way, I’ll just let you know what I think now as if I am reading this for the first time.

This is a great premise, almost has the feel of a memoir. I like the setting, characterisation and I really like some of your description. Lucia is instantly likeable, her timid nature and sweet family make her human and I really feel for her. Great stuff.

My only concern is the initial pace. I just wasn’t feeling it. I felt a bit like I had to push through some paragraphs to get to the stuff I really wanted to read. Now, this is probably just me. I have a ridiculously short concentration span. I think I preferred this without the prologue, but again, that’s just me. I’ve only read the opening chapters so I look forward to dipping into some of the later ones and I’ll get to you then.

Janny :)

Celine Zabel wrote 455 days ago

Adina,

I thought your Prologue added to your story. I liked it immediately. Your writing is clear and inviting. Your use of dialogue is very good, as well. I have no criticisms for you--sorry.

Congratulation on doing what you obviously love--writing.

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

Jennwith2ns wrote 456 days ago

Kosovo? Newham? Wow. I am fascinated by this book. Never thought to find another novel taking place in those two locations (different themes, but same places: http://www.amazon.com/Trees-Pavement-country-Flamingo-Fiction/dp/1845503422/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358445566&sr=8-1&keywords=trees+in+the+pavement)

I also resonate with Lucia's family background (though mine's not Italian), the desire to please, to love and be loved, and the obsession of a "forbidden" love (though that last part in my life is now over, thankfully). Happily, you do the themes justice with your evocative descriptions and excellent storytelling. Thanks for sharing this book.

I'll back it just as soon as a spot appears on my shelf.

Bogovi wrote 460 days ago

So far I have only had a chance to read the first few chapters, but I really enjoyed it. Your writing is flawless and while I do not usually read many novels like this one, I have to admit that I am hooked. The characters are so genuine and believable and I really want to follow them on their journey- even if it does seem like it's going to be a long, bitter struggle.

Just as long as the book doesn't end with an asteroid randomly colliding with earth I think this book will do extremely well. . . Albeit, the asteroid part could be kind of cool. . . Just a thought. . .

:p

Cathy Hardy wrote 460 days ago

Blimey! how glad I am that I came back to read more of your book. Now I am hooked. It is so interesting to see how a well rounded, loved girl like Lucia can be lured int a web of deceit and vulnerability as easily as someone not so well adjusted. I suppose it's really all about our natures being trusting and taking everything at face value. The love story started off so beautifully, until the proposal and I thought oh-oh!! However I love the cleverly interjected humour about the Chuckle Brother:) I can see Lucia is a born romantic and forever the optimist just by some of your words such as kismet. I use that word somewhere in my book :) I also loved your descriptions of of a beautiful country tortured and ruined by war. Very scary and the way you jumped at the gun fire from the wedding celebration. I want to know the outcome and I hope you upload more soon. Great story, very well written.

Patty Apostolides wrote 483 days ago

Confessions of a Dervish -

I read the Chapters 1-7 of this delightful story. I identified with the MC and her love interest, Arben. I could relate to her helping him and eventually falling in love and marrying him. The ups and downs of their relationship were realistic, sometimes sad and often endearing.

"Lulu" has to learn a new culture when she goes to Arben's home and it's interesting learning about their lifestyle, their "evil eye" and types of food. Several instances, I felt as if you were writing about Greek life, for we also have several similar traditions.

I am curious as to why there wasn't any reference to the church or getting married in the church.

Suggestions/Nitpicks:

The only thing that stood out was the following:
Ch. 2 -
"I don't think your father we be so understanding." Should be "...would be so understanding."

Overall deserves a six stars and will make room to back soon!

Best,
Patty
The Greek Maiden and the English Lord

Andrea Taylor wrote 490 days ago

This is very mature writing. Although they fall in love and your description is 'erotic' yet it is detached and unsentimental. How can we know they care for each other so much? Your words are well crafted, carefully selected, beautifully put together. A special book. I think it will go far.
Andrea
the de Amerley Affair

Seringapatam wrote 492 days ago

Adina. A really good read. I too got hooked on this and at first I didnt think I would. It only took a short time and I was right into it. It flows really well with a good story line.
I will rate this high.
Sean

Andrew W. wrote 499 days ago


Hello Adina,

I've had a read, dipping into chapters throughout what's been posted here. You clearly have an eye for detail and the soulful depths of life. Your story is a strong and engaging one, your writing is strong. I note you have edited this very well. My comments relate to what still needs to be done in my view, please, however, understand that this is only one viewpoint. I think you can still edit deeper and harder. Here are some examples from early in chapter one of what I still think is extraneous or implied. You have a strong narrative voice and a very engaging and intriguing story to tell, flights of fancy sometimes, for me at least, got in the way of that mission.

The first line is beautiful and clear, the ones beyond it need chopping down, less is, in my opinion always so very much more. Remember always the constant and intelligent reader who is there using your words to create their own personal private pictures in their head and we don't want our writerly words to get in the way of that.

Your first paragraph for me should have been;

It was early spring when we began our descent into hopelessness. Winter faded as pink petals fell on London pavements and I fell in love with Arben. I gave him everything I could even though I didn't have much.

I like your beautiful descriptions, you have a strong narrative voice, I just wanted less words, the ones you did use in this first paragraph conveyed to me so much about the situation. Everything I have left out of my cheeky edit above didn't, in my opinion, need to be there. You have a good story here that will resonant and interest many, have you approached Harper True direct because I think the quality of the writing means it is publishable you just need to edit out any extraneous words, but don't we all, us writers have minds so full of them.

I hope some of that helped, if not please feel free to ignore and don't be offended, my viewpoint is simply that.

Take care and best of luck

Andrew W

Ox wrote 501 days ago

This is a great read - and I would certainly buy it and read it from cover to cover. Hope it gets published. And I hope it also comes out on Kindle edition so I could take it on holidays with me.

Love it,
Ox

austenwrit24 wrote 504 days ago

Just read a few chapters so far and this isnt my normal reading material BUT great writing! Really keeping me interested :) Thanks

Adriana S

Jane Mauret wrote 504 days ago

Hello, Adina
I imagine this is your story although your MC is called Lucia so maybe Adina/Alexia are nom de plumes (?); but whatever, it does not affect the writing.
I really enjoyed this when on my first outing some months ago now.
I was just as mesmerized second time around.
You have what seems to be an effortless gift of conveying so much, so vividly, and with such economy, eg, The air was thick with the scent of petroleum and burnt hay.
All I can say is that I wish I write with such fluency. I can’t understand why more people have not backed you. The truth is that this is only the 4th or 5th book here that I will read the whole of. I don’t chuck around such compliments lightly either as is clear by some of my more harsh comments re some books.
I get a sense of the characters very easily and understand entirely the feeling that Lucia has when she feels so alone at times. Not sure if that is because I have lived in some odd places and had that feeling too, but again, it just adds to the strength of your writing. I think what you achieve in this bio, is a distance of yourself from the MC, which is attractive because that means you are not all about you; you are very matter of fact in your portrayal which is a gift.
I also do not notice any grammar or punctuation issues which is always a bonus!
I am going to back you now as I really want to see this book get to the ED.
Bye for now.
Jane Mauret
I Can Laugh – NOW!

JessicaD wrote 508 days ago

Adina, I absolutely adore this book.. I backed it when you had it up previously, now it seems like an actual published book. You have really ironed out the creases. I love Lucia more than ever, and in a funny way, love Arben too. I guess I can feel him from the MC strong voice - despite hating him later, I'm also left with a sense of loss when all does not go to plan.
Thank you for sharing such a relevant story - I will back it until you reach ED! I really feel like this deserves to be published. Are you actively seeking representation?
Jess x

Tom Bye wrote 510 days ago

Hello again Adina-
book -Confessions if a Dervish'

I read 9 chapters of this page turner some 161 days ago -
It was so good that i read it in one sitting-
Came back in to read some more of this true life story and
almost immediately got hooked on the story line , and poor Lucia !
I highly recommend this book to others, especially girls and the things
that can happen.
i give it 6 stars
tom bye
from hugs to kisses'


Cathy Hardy wrote 514 days ago

Love will always affect one's life so dramatically, it often makes me wonder if it is all worth it. My life has been destroyed by it so I can empathise completely. Beautifully written with such expressive emotions.

najwa wrote 523 days ago

Most interesting...on my WL to be rotated on the shelf
Best of luck
Nagwa

Lynne Heffner Ferrante wrote 524 days ago

Forgot to tell you, all stars and will back you asap. Lynne

Lynne Heffner Ferrante wrote 524 days ago

I was totally drawn into your story because it hit home. Not only is your writing beautiful and perfectly done, but you are able to evoke true emotion and to describe both feelings and incidents with clear and precise prose. for any woman who has lived through a similar situation, your story will ring unbelievably true. A reader who has not been involved in such a painful and life altering adventure will experience it as if it were real.
The second book of my aotobiographical trilogy deals with a similar theme.
Lynne Heffner Ferrante
An Untenable Fragrance of Violets

fatema wrote 526 days ago

Oh dear me! A long record of experiences. Your 1st chapter enchanted me and drew my interest in it. You Began saying, that you loved him whole heartedly, you've nothing more to give. We women do love whole heartedly.

You shared a lots of experiences that can be lessons for others; awareness for many and insightful for all readers. A lot of social and political instannces you have recorded. Furthermore, there are few instances you have experienced, gives alerting messages for many other girls. Awakening messages.

You are right, love should be given to those who deserves, though you aren't stupid to give love to someone, because how do you supose to know?

As it is incomplete, hope to see you have found your true love and the person who deserves your wholeheartedly love.

R. Dango wrote 526 days ago

I was lucky to have stumble across this beautiful story. I've read two chapters, literally breathless, which is quite unusual for a slow reader like me. It stirs my heart. If I had more time, I'd read till the end.

R

Samshell43 wrote 527 days ago

Your first chapter had me captivated. Your writing is flawless and a pleasure to read. I will continue when Rusty and I have some more time.
Six stars.
Sam

Warrick Mayes wrote 528 days ago

Adina,

I have read your first chapter and was most enchanted - literally. Your writing has that charm, it wraps you in its arms and sooths you, whispers in your ear and mops your brow, winning you over and holding you up so that it can carry you along on its magical journey.

I quite liked it!

High stars and watch listed.
Best wishes
Warrick

Emma.L.H. wrote 531 days ago

Hello, Adina. I must say, I wasn't expecting this. You have an almost poetic quality to your voice. This was like reading a published book; it's extremely well written. After reading the first two chapters, I felt I knew your characters well. You've done a really good job of fleshing them out; they're very believable and relatable.

You've created a highly interesting read, here. It was also pleasurable to read something on here that was relatively free of typos/errors; it's very polished (apart from the odd missing comma here and there) you've obviously spent a lot of time on this. After reading chapters one and two and finding no problems, I chose chapters at random. Chapter ten was well-written and typo free. I chose chapter sixteen next and found a few little nit-picks:

Their beautiful faces illuminated flashing lights.
This doesn't really make sense. Illuminated 'by/from the' flashing lights?

A longing for familiar raw familiar love...
Sounds a bit repetative.

No other problems whatsoever. You've done a really good job, here. Some of your descriptions are brilliantly written and, as I've said before, your characters are well-formed. I'll read on and if I spot anything that I think I could be of help with, I'll comment again.

In the meantime, highly starred and I wish you all the best with this. Well done.

Brian G Chambers wrote 532 days ago

Adina
Wow you have really blown me away with this. You have a very powerful story here and you tell it well. You have brought your charachter to life in such a way that you can feel her emotions. I have read through to the end of chapter five, and it was here I spotted the odd error, but nothing that cannot be easily sorted. I want to read this right through, only time prevents me just now, but I will come back and finish it, as I find it fantastic. I have put it on my WL and given it high stars. I will definately be backing this in the future when I find space (it is such a pity one can only shelf five books at a time) I wish you good luck with this, but I don't think you need it with such a great story.
Best wishes Brian.

Sabina Frost wrote 534 days ago

I finally have time to give a comment!
I have read one chapter, and your use of the language is great. I was swept away by your beautiful phrasing. We are given a nice introduction to their relationship and I already see it breaking at the seams in places. I found that you're telling, rather than showing, but in a way, it still works in this kind of story. As in intro. I do hope you'll show us more in-depth in later chapters, however.
I have a few pointers that I hope will be helpful. Take what you need and ignore the rest.

Chapter 1
- Powerful opening sentence
- The sentence ’he warned me’ reads awkward – I’d either restructure it or consider putting some more commas into it. Maybe keep the ‘but’, but cut the ‘nevertheless’. But that’s just personal opinion!
- I like your phrasings, especially when you talk about her creativity and being calm amidst the ‘Italian clan’
- Consider the sentence when you describe her looks – it’s a bit long, at least with the eye colour thrown in there at the end.
- ‘laughed(,) remembering’
- I’m not sure about ‘our encounter went something like this’. I’d make it ‘On our first encounter, I’d looked…’
- ‘head(,) unsure’
- Since we already know she’s been eyeing him for months, I think you only need to say the last part – ‘couldn’t I have just said…’
- If the actress doesn’t appear later in the story, there is no point in mentioning that she’s an actress. It’d be better to say just ‘a drunken woman’
- ‘scared (that) Arben’s cousins would know what we were up to beyond the paper-thin walls’ – I’ve switched it around, it reads better
- I love the rhythm and poetry to your language – beautiful!
- ‘sofa(,) transfixed’
- ‘I’m all alone here(,) Lulu’
- ‘see (someplace) new’, I think
- ‘Arben(,) I do love you’
- I’d cut ‘more than usual’ when you talk about top-up – seems stilted in dialogue
- Take an extra look at the end of the sentence ‘I’d gotten into the habit’, which doesn’t make sense.
-‘seemed (so) impossibly far away’
- ‘skin(,) making me shudder’
- ‘before(,) when London’
- ‘who by then had figured out’
- I think the last sentence could be made more powerful. Right now, we just read it as if in passing.

Overall, this is a well-written, emotionally powerful opening. Apart from some reconsidersation when it comes to commas, this is already great and I'm sure this will be publishable in the near future!

Sabina Frost
A Ghost Tale

Kenneth Edward Lim wrote 541 days ago

Adina,
This story is absolutely horrific, like the cold hand of reality smacking one in the face. Certainly not a fairytale with a happy ending. Your long-suffering protagonist Lucia using the first person POV opened up a portal into a seedy world beneath the staid veneer of London life. An unstable boyfriend/husband clinging to questionable practices from the old country (Kosovo) turned her life into a living hell. Arben reminded me of an incubus sitting on a dreamer and sapping the life out of her while she slept. Your narrative is straightforward and from the heart, your dialogue reflecting passions felt. Thank you so much for sharing.

Kenneth Edward Lim
The North Korean

philip john wrote 548 days ago

I had a hand in unlocking Europe's borders and it grieves me that what was intended as a step forward has meant two steps back for so many people. But this story is well told, easy to understand, if not so easy to comprehend. As a story it deserves to succeed.
Philip John

patio wrote 551 days ago

Thank you so much for sharing this story. I thoroughly enjoyed what I read thus far. The MC fell in love with a refugee, a foreigner, an illegal immigrant, the many names people throw at people who weren't born here. I admire the MC. She reminded me of my first partner who I got with when I first moved to the UK. The hiding game, from parents that is, what they might think, stressful times.
I read chapter one thus far but will continue. I want to know how the parents deal with the situation when they are finally told or would that day come. And I want to know if the refugee got nationalise as English or got caught and deported. As I said, I really like this story because I can relate to it
MAX STARS

patio wrote 551 days ago
LCF Quartet wrote 551 days ago

Hi Alexia,
I just finished your Istanbul chapter, and it was a great feeling to do so especially while I was in Istanbul still.

To begin with, I enjoyed the pace. It's just right, as you provide all the details around the city along with your MCs feelings and people around her, especially Onur, Harika and Esra.

The neighborhoods of Istanbul have gained more life with your superb descriptions of scent, color, architecture and style. It was cinematic, congratulations.

After a final edit and a bit of polishing, Confessions of a Dervish will be a great novel.

On the other hand, you left me curious and I want to find out what's going to happen to Arben in the coming chapters.
6 stars remain...
Best wishes,
Lucette Cohen Fins- Ten Deep Footprints

RMAWriteNow wrote 552 days ago

Hi Adina: I have just finished reading your first chapter.

You won me over with your very first paragraph which I thought quite beautiful. It wasn't a stretch to know that I would love the rest from that point on.
I was simply blown away by the intensity of feeling between Lucia and Arben. It is difficult to write such a very deep connection between two people and make it utterly convincing, but you manage it with a tenderness of word and action that I have rarely seen.
The reaction from Arben when Lucia came back from her trip was perfect, so well observed. But I could have picked many points of such quality.
Having seen both the long and short pitch it will be interesting to see if the darker side of your story can be as good as the light. I have a feeling it will.
Top marks and congratulations.
RMA
The Snow Lily

LCF Quartet wrote 557 days ago

Hi Adina,
I just wanted to congratulate you for such an impressive first chapter...I loved what I read so far. The opening paragraph was strong, and your first-person voice is authentic and easy to follow.

The conversation parts are great, as I guess you have a special talent for realistic dialogue creation, I mean it. Maybe because I live in Istanbul and know the Balkan culture, but your writing certainly delivers.

I'm curious to see how the story will unfold with Arben, so I'll get back to reading more chapters.

By the way, the pitch is good and the title of your book is great.

6/6 stars from me and in my Watch List!
Best wishes,
Lucette Cohen Fins- Ten Deep Footprints

panos wrote 590 days ago

Dear Adina,
I read some of Confessions of a Dervish. I chose it over your other book because I have a restaurant in London that is numbered three-four-three. Whilst not the type of book I would normally read, I wish you the best of Greek luck.

mikegilli wrote 607 days ago

Hello Adina, I've been reading more of Lucia's real life story.. very impressive and realistic, this explains why so many abused and beaten-up women are forced to go back to their abusers. I didn't read it all but found myself absorbed in Ch 14 with the suspense of whether she'd go back with him or not..hurrah for Lucy!!
My advice, well. you could play on that suspense a bit more, with your readers all cheering for Lucia. Excellent, if a bit depressing, how you portray the social, family and patriarchal setup. No more advice till I read a bit more.
Congrats on the rewrite, seems much deeper. I did see a few typos still.
all the best..... mikegilli... The Free

Chaiscuro wrote 615 days ago

Finished reading, and I must say what an exceptional read Adina!
When you finish this novel,l I hope to see you in the bookshops.
Love the word play and you have good strong characters.

Good Luck!
Phil (Arabella)
P.S I have rated it highly.

Jane Mauret wrote 617 days ago

Confessions of a Dervish by Adina Akkaya
Hello, Adina
Love the opening sentence. Says so much in so few words.
What an amazing story-teller you are, Adina. I was mesmerised from the off. You are able to describe people and settings with just enough words; not hitting us over the head with endless paragraphs that are not needed. We get straight to the story too. It has a slight Romeo and Juliet feel to it; a romance that might be doomed from the outset. I will keep reading for sure. I found no jarring grammar or punctuation errors either. Good luck.
Jane Mauret
UGLY IN PARADISE

LianneLB wrote 624 days ago

This story is eyeopening. Good luck with it!

Lianne La Borde (Big Girl Lost)

Bill Carrigan wrote 626 days ago

Dear Adina-- After reading all of "Confessions of a Dervish" shown here, I have little to offer but praise for your forceful, sensitive, and well-written narrative. I especially like the way you convey the transformation of Arben and Lucia's relationship--the initial intensity of their love and the gradual exposure of his brutal nature and her tragic disillusionment--and all against a vivid background of unfamiliar settings and traditions. Looking ahead, I see further problems and conflict as the various issues, socioeconomic and emotional, loom, increasing the tension to a climax that will complete a fine novel.

The only thing lacking, in my view, is a clarification of the international conflicts in the background: Albania, Serbia, Kosovo and the ethnic strife. What was it all about? This might be introduced in the second or third chapter, as briefly as possible so as not to disrupt the story line. Do you agree that this would aid readers who may have missed or forgotten the circumstances as they unfolded? As a last word, I must say you've left me with a strong desire to continue your story. --Best wishes,

Bill Carrigan
("Call Home the Child")

Chaiscuro wrote 626 days ago

Hi Adina,
lovely story, dressed up with a smatter of delightful word play which I like......I will be honest and tell you that I have not gotten around to reading every chapter, but I must say I'm hooked.
Keep at it Adina!
Good Luck!

Phil (Arabella)

Su Dan wrote 630 days ago

this is a fascinating and well told book. interesting subject, and put it together with great skill...
backed...
read SEASONS...

Laura Bailey wrote 631 days ago

I still love this and I do think it has improved, albeit I thought it was great anyway. The opening is beautiful, almost poetic. You manage to tackle such a difficult and complex subject with grace and ease throughout. I have had no problems backing this again.

Good luck with it!

Laura

J.Adams wrote 637 days ago

Hi Adina,

I meant to leave a comment when I was here last time, but I think I didn't end up doing that, (I'm getting old and my memory isn't what it used to be...) So I'm back, and wishing you all the best with this powerful story!

Before I get to comments about the book, I want to thank you for your soundtrack! I love that you think this way, that music speaks to you in such a profoundly meaningful way! It does for me, too!

I don't usually comment about everything I love about the way someone writes, and I won't here, either, but I have to congratulate you on your opening sentence because I've struggled for a long time with creating such a compelling opening (and I've failed and just hope readers will give me a bit more time to capture their interest!) As painful and foreboding as your first sentence is, it's really completely excellent. "It was early spring when we began our descent into hopelessness." The "early spring" takes you up, so the "descent into hopelessness" drops you from quite a height, making it more powerful than it might have been. Already one can't put the book down.

That said, there are many sentences that need editing - too many to list, but here are two examples:

"Upon my return I was greeted silence." and "Growing up in multi-cultural London I witnessed exactly that happen."

The story is so engaging, I think it would be helpful to clean up sentences like these because they break the flow of the reading. Also, the changing point of view, often within sentences and paragraphs, is disconcerting and, again, interrupts the flow of the story. An example is:

"Retreating into a shell, I began to question whether I was doing anything to provoke them. The quarrels were tremendously spiteful and one-sided. Sometimes he'd accuse her of having wandering eyes when on the rare occasion they'd go out and then he'd ignore me and storm off ahead."

It should either be in the first person or the third person, not both, and definitely not both in the same sentence. These editing issues are important. You have an important story, but people don't like to read material that isn't comfortably well-edited. It makes it hard to follow, and makes the reader have to work at getting through the material, no matter how important the material is.

More on tense and point of view ---

"I didn't know how we'd get out of it, but felt it was her duty to stick by him."

This sentence should either be "I" or "her" not both.

"Urging Arben to visit her side of the city more, I took him to my favorite Syrian eatery in Shepherd's Bush."

The same with this sentence, "her" followed by "I" -- it's either being told in the first person or the third, but not both -- point of view should be consistent.

or

"A person could live there and make a go of life without being judged on the decisions they make or the colour of their skin."

The above sentence starts in one tense and ends in another. To make this sentence consistent, the word "make" should be "made" to keep the end of the sentence consistent with the beginning. The tense changes frequently throughout this narrative, and, as with the other issues, it catches the reader up and destroys the flow of the story.

It's a good and an important story and it deserves this type of critical editing to polish it and make it the best it can be.

...This situation is so heart breaking - people who have suffered immeasurably in war-torn countries, and then are "illegal" in a safer country, and then face exportation back to where they were in such great danger to begin with. It's horrifying, and particularly painful when it comes to children in this situation. It's good you are writing about this because people need to see what this really looks like.

This is so heart breaking, watching as Arben slowly undermines Lucia's independence, inch by inch, telling her to deny her superior education (by not speaking up when she knows something he doesn't know), to pretend she is someone she is not, to behave a way she is not comfortable with, to lie to people she loves, to stop being friends with her friends, to dress the way he wants her to dress, even though it's not how she likes to dress, to stop looking around her in public. And all of this desire he has to control everything about her is disguised as love and concern for her. It's horrible, seeing Lucia being dismantled!

And the nerve of him telling her she is to be a virgin, when he's been sleeping with her for over a year! ...Although he is so poorly educated, and so unwilling to educate himself, he may not realize that she can't be a virgin and have sex with him!

And then his abusive language, calling her a whore and a cow - it is horrible that Lucia didn't dump him then and there!!

Every teenage girl and young woman should read this story -- as a warning to NOT ignore or make light of cruel, verbally abusive behavior from a boyfriend. Arben is a horrible, horrible human being! It is terrible what his life has been, but it does not excuse his evil behavior toward Lucia, and it is terrible that she does not see how evil his behavior is! It is terrible that she doesn't immediately feel righteous indignation at the way he treats her! It is terrible that she doesn't walk right out of his life at the first signs that he believes he owns her!

As I keep saying, this is an important story, and I wish you very much success with it. It needs to be told!!!

All the best,
Judy

AdamCian88 wrote 661 days ago

Hello,

I read the first chapter of this and I really enjoyed this. I like the way you use delicate flowery descriptions, it gives a lightness and also an easy understanding. Hopefully it will develop further, i will read more.

My usual books are adventure and gritty action, but this has an almost insatiable affection that pulls me in.

faith rose wrote 661 days ago

Dear Adina,

I've just finished your first three chapters, and I'm hooked. This really isn't my typical read, but you have truly held my interest and given my heart such a tender place for Lucia. Her first person point of view displays so clearly her trusting nature. She is eager to please, and eager to love and be loved. Lucia's loving Italian family gives a beautiful foundation for the wonderful, strong person she has become. My heart is yearning for her story to be one of joy and goodness and love, but it seems sadness and pain and abuse must come first. Arben is so enticing, and it is easy to understand how Lucia was swept away at first, yet it hurt my heart to feel how she seemed to lose a little bit of herself at every turn. Sadly, how often this occurs to women around the world. By the end of chapter three, we can clearly see a terrible, ugly Arben emerging. Indeed he is a "Hulk." And to think, all Lucia wanted was "to love and be loved unconditionally..."

I applaud you, Adina, for writing such a beautiful, vital, relevant story. It is one based on truly painful events and one that I can only imagine will be of comfort to so many others in such difficult, trying situations. Giving you many shiny stars today and holding on my WL to read more. Wishing you every success with your story and with your beautiful life.

All the very best,
Faith Rose
Now To Him

AlexiaDeAngelis wrote 663 days ago

Hi David,
Thank you for taking the time to read this, I have taken your notes on board.
I am sure you can relate to the zillionth-edit blindness, so your comments have been really useful.
Adina

12