The Flea Palace – Elif Shafak
Set within a once-stately apartment block in Istanbul, The Flea Palace tells the story of Bonbon Palace, built by Russian noble émigré Pavel Antipov for his wife Agripina at the end of the Tsarist reign. It is now sadly dilapidated, flea-infested, and home to ten very different individuals and their families.
There’s a womanizing, hard-drinking academic with a penchant for philosophy; a ‘clean freak’ and her lice-ridden daughter; a lapsed Jew in search of true love; and a charmingly naïve mistress whose shadowy past lurks in the building. When the trash at Bonbon Palace is stolen, a mysterious sequence of events unfolds that result in a soul-searching quest for truth. By turns comic and tragic, this is an outstandingly original novel driven by an overriding sense of social justice.
Elif Shafak gives us a bird’s-eye insight into each apartment, and we see their comic and tragic lives