A seductive and lyrical debut following a young woman’s dangerous summer romance during an idyllic vacation on the Aegean coast
"A gorgeous exploration." —Raven Leilani, author of Luster
"A book full of pleasures." —Kirkus
Ada adores spending every summer in a Turkish seaside town with her mother and grandmother at the family villa. The glittering waters, endless olive groves, and her spirited friends make it easy to leave her idle life in California behind. But no matter how much Ada feels she belongs to the country where her mother grew up, deep down, her connection to the culture feels as fleeting as the seasons.
When Levent, a mysterious man from her mother’s past, shows up in their town, Ada can’t help but imagine a different future for her mother—one that promises a return to home, to love, to happiness. But while playing matchmaker, Ada has to come to terms with her own intensifying attraction to Levent. Does the future she’s fighting for belong to her mother—or to her alone?
Lush and evocative, İnci Atrek’s Holiday Country is a rapturous meditation about what it means to experience being of two worlds, the limitations and freedom of a life in translation, and the intricacies of a love triangle that stretches across generations and continents.
A Publishers Lunch Buzz Book Selection • An IndieNext Pick for January 2024
"A beautiful novel from a promising new voice." —Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot and Either/Or
"This is a book full of pleasures: Turkish food, the sparkling Aegean, the laze of late summer, and, ultimately, of the difficult mysteries of mothers and daughters." —Kirkus
"Atrek’s debut is immersive and sensual; readers will feel as if they’re truly on the gorgeous beaches with Ada." —Booklist, starred review
"With a setting that comes through beautifully in Atrek’s writing, Holiday Country is tender, well-written and filled with just the right amount of twists and turns." —BookPage
"Atrek gloriously portrays the seaside setting, and she expertly explores the crackling tension between mother and daughter. This finely rendered debut heralds the arrival of a smart, bold voice." —Publishers Weekly
“İnci Atrek's mesmerizing Holiday Country is sizzling with the heat and hurt of young adulthood, brimming over with all of the associated desires: to explore, to feel seen, to belong, and, of course, the impossible wish to turn back the hands of time. With beautiful prose that transports you to the seaside town along the Aegean Sea where young Ada spends her summers, Atrek fully entangles you into the generation-long drama overdue to unravel. This book is full of wisdom and insights about mothers, daughters, and the men who surround them and it smolders as we watch Ada do the unavoidable: become her own person.” —Xochitl Gonzalez, New York Times bestselling author of Olga Dies Dreaming
"A piercing and wise novel, Holiday Country asks vital questions on identity, autonomy, fantasy, and how we may radically reimagine daughterhood and the places we come from. İnci Atrek masterfully threads a needle right through the eye of desire and duty with this spectacular book; you will be equal parts unmoored and moved long after you finish reading." —Mina Seçkin, author of The Four Humors
"Holiday Country is a gorgeous exploration of the wonder and potency of girlhood. İnci Atrek is sharp on the difficult conjunctions between desire and lineage." —Raven Leilani, New York Times bestselling author of Luster
"İnci Atrek is a tender, lush, and bold storyteller. Holiday Country is an expansive page-turner that makes the reader feel the sand, salt, and love surrounding Ada and the women who have shaped her on every page." —Nazlı Koca, author of The Applicant
"A hypnotizing and beautiful book about a young woman caught between languages and cultures, and aching to become whole, Holiday Country is painfully honest and wrenching about how desire eclipses reason. I was wholly entranced by the blistering sunshine and salt of the Aegean, by Ada's propulsive yearning to rewrite history and orchestrate her own fate, and frequently held my breath as I read. İnci Atrek has written a fiercely original and transporting coming-of-age novel with swoon-worthy prose and an unforgettable heroine." —Caitlin Barasch, author of A Novel Obsession
“Holiday Country is a gorgeous and poignant bildungsroman of womanhood, motherhood, identity, and the nuances that stitch them together set against the resplendent Aegean Coast. A book to keep close to your chest in the cold months ahead.” —Lauren Abesames, Wind City Books, Casper, WY