Nektaria Anastasiadou reads from her novel


A Recipe for Daphne by Nektaria Anastasiadou (Hoopoe, 2021)


The story:

An American-born traveler to one of Istanbul’s oldest communities receives an unexpected welcome in this heart-warming and romantic debut.

Fanis is at the center of a dwindling yet stubbornly proud community of Rum, Greek Orthodox Christians, who have lived in Istanbul for centuries.

When Daphne, the American-born niece of an old friend, arrives in the city in search of her roots, she is met with a hearty welcome. Fanis is smitten by the beautiful and aloof outsider, who, despite the age difference, reminds him of the fiancée he lost in the 1955 pogrom.

Kosmas, a master pastry chef on the lookout for a good Rum wife, also falls instantly for Daphne. She is intrigued by him, but can she love him in return? Or will a family secret, deeply rooted in the painful history of the city itself, threaten their chances?

This story of love, hopeful beginnings, and ancient traditions introduces a sparkling new literary voice sure to transport and entertain.


The praise:

“Through her rich characters, the Rum people’s painful history over the last century also comes to light.”— Durrie Bouscaren, The World on Public Radio International / NPR

“[A] novel to be thoroughly savored, from its enticing culinary elements to its charming love stories. . . ‘A Recipe for Daphne’ proves deeply satisfying.”— Vanessa Larson, The Washington Post

“Charming. . . .features vivid characters and evocative descriptions”—The National Herald

“Nektaria Anastasiadou’s debut novel ‘A Recipe for Daphne’ visits the ghosts of the past, including those of September 6-7, 1955, but comes out unhaunted and hopeful . . . A delightful tale that combines the tragic secrets of the past with hopes for the future . . . a book of secrets, confrontations and complex identities.”— Nazlan Ertan, Duvar English

“The pages of Anastasiadou’s novel shimmer with the romance of Istanbul, and her vivid prose evokes its magical melange, even as her characters wonder how to hold on to their vibrant but dwindling world.”—Anne-Marie O’Connor, author of The Lady in Gold, for The Markaz Review

“An exquisite novel, beautifully crafted, delicate, complex . . . I found it hard to put it down. Full of humor and compassion, playfulness and fascinating insights.”—Rana Haddad, author of The Unexpected Love Objects of Dunya Noor

“A Recipe for Daphne takes old and new love, ancient and modern traditions, particular characters and mouth-watering food, and weaves a charming tale. When I finished I immediately wanted to demand the sequel!” —Alison Jean Lester, author of Lilian on Life

“Rich, satisfying”—Foreword Reviews




Posted on 09/07/2021 in FICTION General, FICTION Religious, FICTION Romance - General, Women


Add a comment

© American University in Cairo Press 2023|Website made by Bookswarm