Alan Drew


"Solid and persuasive... [A] novel about lovers crossed not by the stars but by the clash of cultures."

— Kirkus Reviews

"Drew...effortlessly transports readers to a wrecked Istanbul and finds shards of hope in the mountains of rubble."

— Publishers Weekly

"A penetrating, tightly-focused novel which balances the sweetness of youth and the brooding anxieties of parenthood with a robust understanding of the Muslim-Western encounter."

— Leila Aboulela, author of The Translator

"Gardens of Water is an important novel, especially in today's global world. Alan Drew explores, with respect and understanding, clashes between cultures, faiths, and generations, in an intricately woven novel. In the end, we find ourselves feeling close to the characters and their world, as it is the very world in which we live. Gardens of Water is a real triumph, and it introduces an exciting new writer and voice."

— Yiyun Li, author of A Thousand Years of Good Prayers

"...a fast-paced and well-written narrative, one that convincingly explores the tensions between Islam and Christianity and the seismic cultural shifts that can result from natural disasters. Recommended for larger academic and public libraries."»read more

— Library Journal

"Drew's first novel takes readers to Turkey, a geographical location not common as a setting in American fiction, and his absorbing narrative is obviously derived from his own intense experiences in that place. A fresh reworking of the Romeo-and-Juliet theme...A richly detailed, finely plotted demonstration of culture clash."»read more

— American Library Association

Praise from Booksellers:

"What a vastly beautiful book! The author has brilliantly captured the clash of cultures existing between a Kurd family and an American one in the suburbs of Istanbul.... I didn't want this book to end! Gardens of Water is, to this date definitely one of my top 3 for the year! It's a treasure for me indeed.

— Linda Grana, Lafayette Book Store, Lafayette, CA

"First time novelist Alan Drew has created a novel that takes you just outside of Istanbul where a massive earthquake hits changing the lives of a set of neighbors forever. . . . The longing, the hope and the familial themes fill each page. Gardens of Water is simply breathtaking."

— Calvin Crosby, Community Relations Director Books Inc., San Francisco, CA

"Culture, faith and tradition play devastating roles in decisions made by one man whose story has something teach us all as we struggle to understand one another. Beautifully written and hauntingly told, this story will remain in my thoughts for quite some time. It is destined to become a classic."

— Cynthia St. John, Kepler's Books, Menlo Park CA

Praise from Book Club Leaders:

"Alan Drew has written a book that will be a book club's dream! It is hard to believe this is a first novel. It is well written and such a good read. I wish Alan Drew much success. The book is a winner."

— Mary Healey, Avon, CT

"Gardens of Water is an excellent book club read. Not only were the characters well drawn and the story very satisfying but it crossed cultures and gave insight into another way of life and how parenthood is universal."

— Barbara Levitt, Timonium, MD

"The book is beautifully written and heartbreakingly tragic and gritty-yet somehow hopeful. These characters will live in my memory for a long time. I belong to two book clubs and I will definitely be suggesting this book for discussion in both of them. I think Gardens of Water will be another "Kite Runner" in terms of popularity. I hope Alan Drew is busy writing his next novel!"

— Carol Custer, San Clemente, CA

"I cannot express what an amazing book this is! I am absolutely positive that my book club (and many others) will be reading this next year after it's published. There are so many issues to discuss such as religious differences, cultural differences, relationships and loss just to name a few."

— Julie Peterson, Mechanicsburg, PA