Cover Image: Tales from behind the Window

Tales from behind the Window

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Tales from Behind the Window tells very important stories. With the help of beautiful illustrations, this book took us to Turkey and made the stories of women back in the 1950s be heard. It is based on the personal experience of the author’s grandmother, Sureyya, and other women that her grandmother knew. It had three parts: Sureyya’s Tale, which is about Sureyya being forced into marriage and sold by her brother. Gulhanim’ Tale, which is about Sureyya’s mother and her experience as a single mother. And Done’s Tale, which is about Sureyya’s friend being sold off in the market just like her sisters.

Tales from Behind the Window highlights the oppression women face in a world where men’s words are the law. This is quite a quick read and could be read within an hour or two. I really love this book and I genuinely wish more people would be able to read this and hear these women’s stories. But how I also wish that we live in a world where these stories doesn’t exist and these women didn’t experience what they did. This book is heart-wrenching but truthful. It makes us face the reality about human trafficking and forced marriage that these women experienced and could still be happening to others. It also shows what poverty does to people. I loved how the story was told. It made me really feel the emotions the characters were feeling. I also love the art style. It was beautiful and I love Kuntman’s choice of when to use muted and bright colors.

Tales from Behind the Window is important. With the help of stunning illustrations, it tells stories that we all should acknowledge and listen to. I highly recommend.
Was this review helpful?
A very short but extremely powerful book that should absolutely enrage the reader, as it tells the stories of women who have absolutely no personal agency about anything that happens in their lives. These women and girls (one was just TWELVE) are literally sold off to strange men by the men in their own families and are simply expected to do as they are told and never once complain.
Was this review helpful?
Tales From Behind the Window is the true story of three women from Turkey, and the systematic male dominance their experienced on a daily basis throughout their lives. Edanur Kuntman wrote and illustrated this novel as a way to honor and showcase everything her grandmother went through. And it’s a beautiful tribute, as well as being a powerful reminder of how far we’ve come.
	From now on, when I think of a graphic novel that carried with it some serious weight and impact, I’m going to think of Tales From Behind the Window. One of the reasons it was so powerful is the fact that it is all based on true stories. It certainly increased the emotional intensity of it all – tenfold.
	I honestly can’t encourage everyone enough to go ahead and give Tales From Behind the Window a read. It’s worth it – trust me. It may break you just a little bit, but the end result is something utterly empowering and beautiful. 
	What Edanur Kuntman created here was truly beautiful. Not only the story itself, but the message and the artwork as well. Everything about this piece was lovely and memorable.
Was this review helpful?
Arranged marriages and other Islamist perniciousness.  If that subject floats your boat, this quiet and well-designed graphic novel will appeal; otherwise it will just float by like a bit of gossamer above the Bosphorus.
Was this review helpful?
I feel a little uncomfortable placing an arbitrary star rating on someone's life story, but for the purposes of providing feedback I will., and I want to say this is entirely subjective. The main thing that dropped this down a star was simply the amount of white pages/spaces in the graphic novel, which very well might just be because it was a digital download pre-release. The art isn't quite the style I usually enjoy, so I found myself fairly neutral towards it, though I enjoyed how much the red scarf stood out against the other low tones. The use of colour and vibrancy vs dimness was interesting. 

This story briefly follows three women's stories: our main character's, her mother's, and one of her childhood friends. It revolves around how their lives are influenced by men, particularly husbands, but also brothers/sons, in a society where men's word is law. The main character was a real women, the author's grandmother, and the graphic novel was built around the stories she told her. It was very interesting to get this insight into an experience so different to my own - this difference being another reason I feel a little uncomfortable giving it a star rating, as it doesn't feel like my place.  It was much briefer than I expected, just glimpses into different parts of these three women's lives, based around our main characters interactions of them. 

Overall a simple read, and would recommend to someone wanting to enjoy a short story in a sort of slice-of-life style, though don't go into it expecting a sunshine-and-daisies tale.
Was this review helpful?
“Tales from behind the Window" is based on memories of an Anatolian grandmother and women she knew who suffered from male dominance over their lives. Writer and illustrator Edanur Kuntman seeks a unique way to express and give voice to women in her grandmother’s memories and in our reality who were not able to reconcile their inner emotional depth with their rural worlds in Northern Turkey. One long and two short stories included in this book revolve around terrifying emotional burdens such as forced marriages, being betrayed by patriarchs, and lost love, which have haunted and still haunt many in rural Anatolia.

Some of the stories are kind of hard to read- since two of the girls were basically sold into an arranged marriage – but it’s important none the less that they are told. From the stories you get a sense of the culture and cities, they lived it. The art was pretty okay, with some striking images, but it lacked something. I didn’t feel connected to the story or the main characters at all, and I feel bad for rating a book that means so much to the writer and her family low but I just didn’t enjoy it enough to rate it higher.
Was this review helpful?
In many ways, <em>Tales from Behind the Window </em>by Edanur Kuntman is an extremely difficult read. A graphic novel that follows the story of the author's grandmother, an Anatolian woman whose life was filled with many hardships as a result of the male dominance within her culture. The most egregious of which was the forced marriage at the hands of her own brother's betrayal. As the story is inspired by a series of personal interviews, it jumps around to various impactful moments of the woman's life.

A beautifully portrayed collection of important stories from the life of a young woman forced through a number of struggles, <em>Tales from Behind the Window</em> seeks to comment on the horrors of an unequal society. For me, it was incredibly devastating to see Süreyya and her friends find themselves in situations where they were treated like property and sold into forced marriages at the behest of their male family members.

I see this very much as a sort of biography for the author's grandmother, as much of one as could be written with the limited information that she gave. And stories like this are so immensely important. I cannot quite fully imagine what it must have been like to go through what Süreyya lived, but I am glad that her story was told. In so many ways, stories such as this one have been swept under the rug for disturbing lengths of time. To have them brought to light is essential if progress is to be made.

<em>I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.</em>

| <a href="https://www.instagram.com/spasciuti/">Instagram</a> | <a href="https://mobile.twitter.com/SPasciuti_">Twitter</a> | <a href="spasciuti.com">Reader Fox Blog</a> | <a href="https://www.bloglovin.com/@spasciuti">Bloglovin’</a> | <a href="https://m.facebook.com/SteffPasciutiReaderFox/">Facebook</a> |
Was this review helpful?
An emotional and simple portrayal of Anatolian women, suffering male dominance.
A great way to know more about their conditions via comics.
I enjoyed the book even if I would have loved to get more into the depth of the problem.

Beautiful illustrations accompany the three stories contained in this graphic novel.
Was this review helpful?
Tales from the Window is beautifully drawn and colored grabbing you in from the beginning.
The author explained that she was unable to get her grandmother's story so the book isn't truly complete and I must agree. There is true emotion and culture but there isn't an over story arc.
This is important work that needs to saved for posterity of the culture and the fights those with in it have/had to endure. But it's not a full blown tale for a casual reader.
Was this review helpful?
These were such powerful and moving tales, and the illustrations were so moving. This book is an absolute wonder!
Was this review helpful?
The artwork in this graphic novel was STUNNING. It might be my favorite of the year. It was simplistic, but at the same time, so gripping and it really was a part of telling the story. The story was a little jumbled and they were really so short that we only got a surface level understanding about these Anatolian women and their world, but the design more than made up for that fault. It was a very short graphic novel, and I feel like the time could have been better spent deepening the characters in the first two, and the one with the friend was really just repetitive. Overall though I definitely recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
It was such a refreshing read, graphic novels always are for me somehow! If you're struggling to start with reading or trying to inculcate the habit of it, this book would be a wonderful start. It's the most simple and to the point narration and yet it carries so much depth. All the three stories were heart touching and made me think a lot about how privileged we are sometimes that we can make a lot of decisions of our lives ourselves & we have a voice that is heard to stand against it if we can't. There have been lots of women that went before us whose voices were unheard and this book sheds a light on it in a wonderful way. I wish there was more to the story since I was really enjoying it!
Overall Rating: 4/5🌟
Was this review helpful?
Good storytelling and immersive cultural graphic novel. I think it is important we read these stories to understand what we have gained in history so far, and that we should not allow things to devolve ever again. Being a graphic novel, there is a novelty of the story being quite visual and powerful. It's never easy being a woman. But women tell powerful stories and these ones can change the world for the better.
Was this review helpful?
The illustrations in this graphic novel are beautifully done.  

It deals with an interesting aspect of some cultures - that of arranged marriages. The preface was useful to provide the context and the afterword really provided food for thought.

I did find that there were too many perspectives and it therefore lost some of the depth that I would have liked.

Thanks to Netgalley and Europe Comics for the advanced copy.
Was this review helpful?
✨ 3.5 / 5 ✨

GoodReads Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2985195391

This book is based on the author’s own grandmother’s experiences and seeks out to give her a voice concerning events she had no control over.

I think the art style fits the story perfectly and the colour scheme and chosen panels told the story beautifully. I think there was a lot of stunning imagery used in this book and it could’ve been a very impactful read.

However, I think there was just one story too many. We have the overarching story of Süreyya’s tale, then her mother’s short story and her friend’s short story. I liked the mother’s story because it showed male dominance in a more subtle and very different way to what Süreyya is experiencing. Her friend’s story, on the other hand, while heart-breaking and chilling did not add to the narrative. It just seemed to be a repetition of what we’d already seen. It was definitely there to show how common this fate was for women in this town but for me, it just did not quite fit in here.

My other issue is that a lot of times a beautiful panel or page would be undercut by the text accompanying it. The writing wasn’t my favourite and I think that instead of trusting the reader with what they saw on the page, the author overexplained it and undercut the emotion of the scene. I think that the text could’ve benefitted with a bit more editing to be more impactful.

Overall, this graphic novel was a quick read with very important topics and it was heart-warming to see the author being able to tell their grandmother’s story.
Was this review helpful?
Tales from behind the window was a beautiful graphic novel that I wish there was more of. This was told in an unique way of expressing the culture and life in Northern Turkey. Combined in this short novella are stories of three women and how they are all connected. Together this book revolves around terrifying emotional burdens, such as forced marriages, being betrayed by patriarchs, and lost love. It did evoke a feeling in me that I do hope in the present and future, more stories will be heard and hopefully will be changed.
Was this review helpful?
Tales From Behind The Window is a graphic novel created by Edanur Kuntman, who tells a story based on the memories of her grandmother born and raised in Samsun, Turkey.

The concept alone is heartbreaking . . . Forced marriages and patriarchal practices of the most emotional kind make this graphic novel so real that it’s impossible not to feel for the women in the story, and every woman facing the same injustices. Kuntman portraits all of this in a way that the story flows well through beautifully illustrated pages, depicting realistic images of her grandmother’s neighbourhood and capturing emotions, moments, and characters with very fine colouring. Pictures can express what words cannot describe and, like in this case, they give voice to important matters that should never be forgotten.

Sad, real, and evocative. I strongly recommend to read this in paperback, so that you don’t miss the great job this author/illustrator has done depicting such a poignant memoir.
Was this review helpful?
"What binds me closest to these tales is the belief that one person's story is also the story of many."

Wow, I'm really crying in the club right now. This was a beautifully written and illustrated from start to finish. I honestly want to get a physical copy of this just to see how pretty it is not on the screen. I thought it was really important and a timely edition to the graphic novel genre. I can't wait to read more from Edanur Kuntman!
Was this review helpful?
*Received via NetGalley for review*

A beautiful, muted color palette with shocks of more "free-form" illustrations lend themselves perfectly to this interwoven story of three women in Turkey who were forced to get married.

The metaphor of the women as cattle to be sold and kept was effective.

A good introduction for young readers to these issues.
Was this review helpful?
This graphic novel was very good!! it’s the story of three women in Turkey. It’s was the first time that I red a book set in Turkey. I really like the subject of the graphic novel because we never know what’s happening in others countries  in the past. Thanks to Netgalley for the e-arc in exchange of my honest review ! I give this book 4.75 stars
Was this review helpful?