Aylin by Ayse Kulin

First of all, this book is presented as fiction but is really the life story of the remarkable Aylin De Vrimel (Radomisli-Cates, tho she’s never referred to as such,) written by a cousin who clearly hero-worshipped her. The prologue, presenting Aylin’s funeral after her mysterious death, is written in an embarrassingly maudlin way; fortunately, the rest of the book is a much better read. A large part of this is due to Aylin herself. Transforming from an overly romantic young girl who marries a prince to a hippie medical student, and then to a sophisticated psychiatrist with a complicated personal life who finds answers by enlisting in the United States Army, Aylin’s story is one of courage and determination. There’s no doubting that she’s a flawed individual, particularly when it comes to money and romance and how they relate (which, honestly, I found very understandable given her background and upbringing,) but she’s also a pretty awesome person, and you can understand Ayse Kulin’s determination to ensure that her story is told. Ms Kulin does let sentimentality get away with her, particularly in the beginning and end bits, but there’s also a lot of humor to the story, and you get the genuine feeling that something wasn’t right in the way Aylin died. It’s a fast, entertaining, somewhat gossipy read (with names changed to protect from a libel suit, of course.)

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