Without a Country by Ayşe Kulin

Without a Country

From the international bestselling author of Last Train to Istanbul comes a novel based on true events that explores the depths of pride, devotion, and persistence as four generations of a family struggle to forge their destinies.As Hitler’s reign of terror begins to loom large over Germany, Gerhard and Elsa Schliemann—like other German Jews—must flee with their children in search of sanctuary. But life elsewhere in Europe offers few opport...

Details Without a Country

TitleWithout a Country
Release DateJul 1st, 2018
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, War

Reviews Without a Country

  • Katie B
    By the early 1930s, Gerhard Schliemann knows that his family is no longer safe living in Germany because they are Jewish. He eventually finds employment in Turkey and soon his wife and two children join him and attempt to adapt to life in their new country. This is a historical fiction book that not only follows generations of a family from the 1930s to present day but also the country of Turkey as it undergoes massive changes throughout the year...
  • Jeanette
    Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres, especially stories where Jews and the Nazis are concerned. This book was a little different to many stories that i have read, mainly due to the family making Turkey their home after fleeing Germany. This was a very enjoyable book and the further i read, the quicker i was turning the pages. I am not going to write about the story, as i do prefer one to read the book for themselves, but i do recomme...
  • Lilisa
    Thanks to Kenneth Dakan for translating Ayse Kulin’s book from the original Turkish publication and giving readers the opportunity to experience Turkey over four generations with a Jewish family - the Schlimanns. In the 1930s, Dr. Gerhard and Elsa Schlimann and their young family fled Germany and via Switzerland settle in Turkey. One of many Jewish families, the Schlimanns begin a new life in Istanbul, each generation attempting to integrate in...
  • Sarah
    I’m assuming that something was lost in translation with this book. The story had to potential to be a great one, but it seemed like the author was trying to tell too much in not enough pages. The second half of the book felt rushed, and much of it felt like a recitation of facts rather than a narrative. A lot of the dialogue felt forced, and there was not much character development in the second half.
  • Gail Smith
    This family saga begins as a German pathologist learns that he must leave Berlin immediately: Hitler is beginning to round up Jews. He and his family eventually relocate to Turkey, where he is instrumental in bringing other displaced Jewish doctors and scientists to staff the new Istanbul University. He and his daughter begin the assimilation process by learning Turkish, while his wife and son continue to see themselves as German. This story of l...
  • Barbara
    This was my choice for the Amazon Prime 'free' book for June and I chose it because I'd previously read 'Rose of Sarajevo' by the same author and recognised the name. Unfortunately I found the book rather disappointing. It's a four generation 'saga' that tracks the evolution of a family in Istanbul. The first generation were a Jewish academic and his family, fleeing from the Nazis to help Ataturk set up universities in Turkey. The second generati...
  • Liesbeth
    I openly admit defeat on this book, and I’ve given up half way through. It’s not a part of history I know much about and I was looking forward to learning more. However the characters are poorly developed to a point whereby as a reader you just don’t care about them. The story jumps a lot, just as you get into a certain part it halts abruptly and restarts a few years later. Hence there just isn’t enough substance to hold my attention.
  • Carol
    Very well written This book was very well written. It kept me wanting to continue to read it. Historical fiction seems to be my favorite genre, because I learn at the same time as I’m entertained. This book covered at least 4 generations of one family’s struggle with finding a country which would tolerate all nationalities, as their family blended with the people around them. The only reason it did not receive 5 stars was because, in my opini...
  • Rachel Abarca-Contreras
    ShockingI’ll be honest: I was intrigued, then bored, then interested, then bored, then bored again, then suddenly intrigued, heartbroken, sympathetic and empathetic. The journey through 4 generations of Jews from WWII to religious terrorist groups was poignant to say the least. The character development was completely between the lines, but as the story wound down, I realized how attached I’d become to the characters. This one will cause me a...
  • June
    A Book with AnticipationA book about tradegy, predjudice, injustice and heartbreak, but also one of love, forgiveness, endurance, and loyalty. A can't put down book. A lot of life's lessons learned.
  • Nicole Patterson
    2.5 stars for this book. I really enjoy books set in the 1930s. This one was a little different then I was expecting it to be. There was a lot of history about Turkey which was a little slow reading for me. But I liked all the generations that I got to read about. Was wishing for a little more at the end. Left it open ended which I didn't like all that much.
  • John Keeth
    I Couldn't Put This Book DownI don't usually give a book 5 stars but this one deserves it. I'm not going to go into the plot. You can get that from the other reviews. This is a beautifully written historical novel that is well researched. There is not a dull page in it and I couldn't put it down. It gives a great insight into Turkish history since the 1930's. By all means don't let this one pass you by.
  • Thebooktrail
    BookTrail postcard review: I always read Ayse Kulin's books and this was a poignantly painful yet interesting read. I knew practically nothing of the role of Turkey in the 2WW and in the persecution of Jews so this was a real eye opener in many ways. Written in a very accessible and easy-flowing style.
  • Debbie Shoulders
    This was a great idea for a story. In 1933 as Hitler was getting rid of intellectuals and Jews several professors found jobs in Turkey, a nation trying to wrestle its way out of the past. Kulin highlights one such family surrounding them with real individuals. The problem is that she allows Turkey and its politics to take center stage and is inconsistent with her characters. She allows the reader to get fully involved with pathologist Gerhard Sch...
  • Becky
    Historical fiction based on German Jewish scholars going to Turkey during the Nazi government. Follows one family over several generations and how the attitude toward the Jews changed (negatively) over the history of modern Turkey. Made me think again at how racism/sectarianism feels so very pervasive...why can't we get along?
  • Gina
    Interesting for the historyCovering several generations from 1930’s to present day, this narrative explores the impact of politics and dogma and intolerance on a family of intellectuals. The point of view is sometimes detached and superficial, other times becomes overly detailed in minutiae. It skips decades and picks up a new voice in a new generation. However, in sum total, it provides an interesting study of different kinds of loyalty, love ...
  • Bari Dzomba
    Loved the story. Excellent translation. Important history.
  • Christine
    3.5The book started off great. A great story line, very different from other WW2 Jewish tales. However, I needed a bit more closure at the end; I hate reading a book and going to click the next page and finding the authors biography! If you like WW2 historical fiction this is definitely a quick read with a great storyline.
  • Donna
    Lost good storylinebeginning characters were described in fuller detail than those persons who followed. It felt as though the author gradually lost interest.
  • Julie
    Eh. At page 68 I have officially lost interest. Neither the story nor the writing captured me.
  • Jodi
    Giving this 4.5 stars. The story coveres several generations of a family who fled Germany as Hilter was taking power to go to Turkey.
  • Melissa Garcia
    Beautiful Beautifully written and the characters are well developed. This story kept me interested from start to finish. I love the historical and cultural aspects.
  • Dlmrose
  • Pavan
    It was a fantastic novel, couldn't keep it down.
  • Eve Schell
    OutstandingThis is an outstanding book , timeless and also particularly relevant to our times. Beautifully written it flows like water and returns like water.
  • Russ Smith
    Great historical fiction. I learned a lot about Turkish history and about German/Jewish immigrants from the 1930's. Interesting story and easy to read.
  • Jeanette Duffey
    BrilliantIf I could give it 10 stars I would. Loved every minute of it. My heart is aching with them all.
  • Steve
    Without a Country reviewBecause I enjoyed this book immensely. The book has everything in it. Love family politics. The characters were bright but human and imperfect. What a wonderful author Ayse is. I really felt for her characters
  • Rhonda Johnson
    Good for learning an overview of political history of Turkey, but other than that, not a fan.
  • Richard L Heinrich
    A personal look at Turkey's historyA family's generational look at Turkey with characters you can care about and believe existed and made a difference - excellent