‘The Past Tense Of Youth’ A novel

Set in Three countries, predominantly Turkey, this novel is travels back and forth in time from it’s present setting in 1936 to the past in1908  and into the future ending in 1945. blonde beauty for the harem Essentially a romance set against the historical background of the Ottoman Empire it is also a mystery.  My young heroine, Emily Jane Hartley ( Emma for short ) travels from her nice upper class home in Cumberland England to  an apartment in Istanbul with her new husband who is half Turkish on his mothers side. 30s couple Emma They have met in Australia in The Blue Mountains whilst Emma is on holiday with her parents and her husband to be ( Gerald ) is on a gap year from Cambridge University England.

After their wedding in the grounds of Emma’s ancestral home they decide to honeymoon in Turkey where they stay innitially with Gerald’s parents.  On a trip to ‘Topkapi Palace’  , home of the Ottoman Sultans,  Emma leaves the tour complaining of a headache and decides to climb a staircase leading the apartments of  former  harem concubines. Rana,Emma and books This area is off limits to tourists.  Emma is drawn back into the harem and becomes part of it lured by a gypsy who is the favourite of the Sultan.  She has gone back nearly thirty years to before she was born.  Emma becomes ( Emine ) and is both confidante and go between for the gypsy Rana ) who with Emma’s help manages to sneak her lover into the palace. Harem_flower The complication is that Rana’s lover is the image of Emma’s own husband Gerald.  Even the lovers name of ‘Gurol’ is the same as Gerald’s Turkish name.

Emma & Gurel 40s



Was Emma really Emine in a past life or are they two different people? Are Gurol and Gerald one and the same? Why has Rana lured Emma back in time?  What role Has she played in Emma’s destiny?


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