"Sailing Through Byzantium" by Maureen Freely (English Edition)

"Sailing Through Byzantium" by Maureen Freely (English Edition)

"Sailing Through Byzantium" by Maureen Freely (English Edition)

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It’s one minute to midnight on 27th October 1962. The Cuban missile crisis is entering its final countdown as the world prepares for nuclear winter.

But in Istanbul’s old bohemian quarter, a confederacy of free spirits has gathered around a baby grand to see the night out in style. The moment is captured in a legendary photograph.

Behind them, dark ships pass along the Bosphorus. Some could be Soviet tankers, smuggling missiles to Cuba, but tonight no one is looking. All eyes are on Grace, the dark-haired singer. All that matters is her sublime voice, and her song: Stormy Weather.

The girl crouched beneath the piano is the discordant note in the flamboyant scene. This is Mimi, Grace’s nine-year old daughter. Until tonight she believed every word her mother uttered. Now she sees a byzantine web of lies. Who abandoned whom that night? And why did it change her life forever?

On the 27th October 2012, Mimi has come back, haunted by these unanswered questions, to make her peace with the past.

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