Fethiye is a small seaport on Turkey’s Aegean shore where each summer starting in May, tourists from across Europe and England flock to exchange gloomy skies and rain for sand and sea and sometimes sex beneath a hot, bright Mediterranean sun. Connie Cullingsworth, whose life this novel is a portrait of, flies to Fethiye to rescue her daughter, who has been robbed and will need money. Accompanying Connie is her second husband, Charles, a computer whiz who lives in his world of cyberspace and remains indifferent to her needs and desires, as she discovers too late. A teacher schooled in Romanticism, Connie had always dreamt of seeing the Mediterranean, birthplace of western art and literature; and in Bea’s Bar, a favorite haunt for English expatriates, she meets Omer, whose charismatic charm she finds she is unable to resist when he offers to teach her to swim. As a girl, Connie had almost drowned in a Scottish loch, and ever since, she has feared water.
She nonetheless agrees to the swimming lessons, perhaps sensing from the very outset they are an invitation to more than just lessons, first in the water of the Blue Lagoon where Omer holds her so close! Then, as she prepares for her return to cold rainy Manchester, he tempts her with a blue voyage aboard a pretty Turkish gulet to fabled Kekova Sound where, in the ancient ruins above the Sunken City, Omer constructs their bed from eucalyptus leaves. Upon it, in this paradisiacal setting, their love is consummated.
But in the end, Connie must learn that Paradise has its darker side…
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