"Scott tracks the vine of Turkish influence, ‘architectural, political and social,’ that laces through the Levant and the Balkans."
– New York Times Book Review
"An illuminating view of post-imperial attitudes and relationships from a very different empire."
– Asian Review of Books
"An ambitious travel memoir/history, tracing the footsteps of ‘descendants of ancient minorities that were allowed to flourish in the empire, and [were] then intimidated, ignored or expelled from modern Turkey.’ The author grounds her thoroughly researched narrative in history and past travel accounts, and she injects it with earnest, wry observations and personal interviews with the many interesting people she met along the way. In her quest to understand her complicated, tense childhood, Scott treats us to a lively grand tour of the lost Ottoman Empire and shows how contemporary leaders exploit simplified versions of history to support nationalist agendas."
– Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"An insightful and easily approachable combination of travelogue and history. Essential reading for those interested in how historical mythologies warp and contort individual lives."
– Publishers Weekly
"Scott roams through elements of the Ottoman Empire in this bright travel narrative. She laces history with footloose journeying and the result is a restless, kaleidoscopic, and chromatic portrait of a land in flux."
– Christian Science Monitor
"A brilliant travelogue. Beautifully written. This book is only Scott's second, yet she writes with a maturity and insight that belies her age, and is surely a rising star of the literary world. Her overall message is one of optimism: that identity is as much about language as it is about location and religion; and that a 'shared culture' will trump jingoistic national differences."
– The Telegraph (UK)
"Alev Scott approaches the crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean by side roads and unfrequented channels. Her book is clear, bright, humane, and never disheartened."
– James Buchan, author of 'Days of God'
"Scott—whose mother is Turkish and whose father is British—gives both an insider’s intimacy and an outsider’s necessary remove to this excellent survey."
"A lovely, lyrical, and always insightful account that is as much about the present as the past. A joy from start to finish."
– Peter Frankopan, New York Times bestselling author of 'The Silk Roads
"Beautifully written with clear-eyed judgments and a sharp ear for fascinating anecdote and memorable characters. Exhilarating and often eye-opening, it shows this crucial region of the world from a new perspective. Essential reading for anyone interested in Turkey and its history."
– Michael Wood, author of 'In Search of Shakespeare'
"Brilliantly written with a real feel for character, the book is a pleasure to read and an erudite lesson in a fascinating chapter of modern history. An indispensable addition to our understanding of the Middle East today."
– Roger Scruton, author of 'On Human Nature'
"Scott’s elucidating book teaches us how countries and people remember and forget and weave stories about where they come from. Ottoman Odyssey is about how identities are built out of the wreckage of the past. The result is an engrossing account of the imperial imprint in Turkey—on former Ottoman territories and on the minds of those whose ancestors lived under the Sublime Porte’s rule."
– Public Books
"Astonishing glimpses of wondrous lost-limbs of history."