Eleonora Cohen is a incredibly bright and imaginative girl living in Constanta in 1877. She is raised by her father, a salesman in the rug trade, and her stepmother, a firm and less-than-loving woman, leaving Eleonora comfortable in her life, but not quite happy.
When her father her father dies unexpectedly while the pair are visiting Stamboul, Eleonora ends up in the care of her father's business partner, a kind man, who allows Eleonora to grieve, mute, as long as she needs to. The girls spends her time reading books, and eventually, being tutored by a man that wishes to use her intelligence for his own purposes.
I've read several reviews that described this book as having such potential, yet lacking that something special to truly push it into the edge of awesome. And I totally agree. I loved Eleonora as a character...smart children in adult fiction always suck me in...yet her story was a little bland.
The descriptions of the different settings and the small element of the fantastical were beautifully done and again, Eleonora was enchanting. She pulled me in and kept me reading. I enjoyed the book and would definitely recommend it for something a bit different and a for the small, intriguing details. I do agree with other reviewers that something was missing to make the book spectacular.
The Oracle of Stamboul
Michael David Lucas