Authors: Ayse Hitchins and Kristen McKendry
Published Date: February 2012
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Softcover; 200 pages
Genre: Religious Non-fiction
Reviewed by: Shanda
FTC FYI: review copy in exchange for honest review
The Worth of a Soul is the story of Ayse Hitchins, a Turkish woman whose life has been full of one difficult struggle after another. After being left suddenly at a boarding school for girls by her beloved father at age six or so, life begins to change dramatically for Ayse. As she grows and spends time around other girls, she realizes that her life at home and her mother are not normal.
The abuses that Ayse and her family suffer at the hands of her mother spoke to me personally. The details of life in Turkey and the culture of its people were fascinating to read. The sudden changes that Ayse had to experience again and again throughout the younger years of her life made me appreciate the steadiness I’ve had even during my own struggles in life.
I haven’t read a lot of memoirs and after reading The Worth of a Soul I decided I need to change that. I found the difference in Ayse’s life between the city of Istanbul and the far poorer cities of her very early childhood an interesting contrast considering they exist within just a few hours from each other yet are so completely different. Life in Turkey in the 1970s was so very different from city to city. Some aspects of life were barely comparable to life in the United States, from those barely surviving day to day to the popular political views and climate at the time.
The first half of the book was told in a more distant and matter-of-fact tone, but that all changed once a certain meeting took place. I became aware of a change in the storytelling at that point. A warmth and feeling appeared that helped illustrate the turning point that those events were in Ayse’s life. While sudden change and struggle remained a constant in Ayse’s life, the determination, strength and faith that define her character carried her through circumstances that would have made many others give up in defeat.
While the story did slow from time to time, my interest in people in general and Ayse’s story in particular kept me reading. If you are one who enjoys memoirs and stories of conversion and faith, then you will enjoy The Worth of a Soul.