…If you come and visit the Café, you will see a fine goatskin drum hanging above the counter.
It all started with a visit by Christopher to Damascus, where he found an old drum in the local bazaar. Later, back in Hawick, the drum started telling its story: of Daud, left naked and bereft on a Syrian mountainside, and of Shams, the billy goat, who one day (after losing his bell, now hanging behind the counter) was filled with a sense of wonder and began a long journey …After many wild adventures and amorous encounters, Shams the goat died, and his hide became the drum: ‘We animals are not dumb’, he told Daud, “and the skin of an animal can speak things you couldn’t imagine.”
So starts a story of high drama, murder, deceit, true love and how to find happiness in the end.
Follow the adventures of Satanaya, a young Circassian girl growing to womanhood as she travels through the Mediterranean in the last days of the Ottoman Empire. Accompanied by her cooking pot, a wooden spoon and an old cookbook, Satanaya discovers food, love and a deeper sense of self in her encounters with some remarkable women and men on her journey to the fabled city of Constantinople…
An Ark in the Flood of Time – publication date mid-September 2021 – details to follow.
It tells the tale of Satanaya and Mustafa, as dark clouds of war descend over Ottoman lands in the early 20th Century. The year is 1911. Fresh from her sojourn in Konya, Satanaya arrives in Constantinople, to take up a position as lady's companion with an influential Ottoman family. Captain Mustafa meantime waits impatiently in the Middle East for a change in the political situation in his Turkish homeland. While Satanaya strives for meaning in her personal journey, can she also find fulfilment in Mustafa's uncompromising ambition for a modern Turkish state?