Saturday, 13 January 2001

Anne Stevenson: Turkish Rondo (1981)

Edition: Piatkus, 1981 (Buy from Amazon)
Review number: 715

A whirlwind romance ends in marriage for Frances Howard and Robert Denning, but when Robert disappears Frances starts to learn things about her new husband that she had never suspected. She follows him to Greece and then to the tense area around Van in eastern Turkey - near the Russian border, and home to rebellious Kurdish tribes.

In essence, Turkish Rondo is a standard Cold War thriller, but with the elements twisted around and the marriage given so much importance that it becomes more the centre of the novel than the usual parts of the plot. (This of course helps greatly for the characterisation of Frances.) Having a thriller begin with a marriage is quite unusual; as a result, Turkish Rondo is inventive and romantic.

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