I finished reading 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak recently.
The duration in the title is supposedly the time it takes for the human consciousness to ebb away after death. In those minutes that follow the protagonist Leila’s death, the life she lived unfurls as her consciousness sweeps through the recesses of her mind, unlocking memories. In the process a sensuous and poignant journey unfolds piecing together all those events that defined, moved, shook, fractured, redeemed her, from her birth till her final breath and acquaints the reader with the main people who are part of her world, her friends, foes and family. While her body might have been anonymously and unceremoniously dumped, it is in sharp contrast to the layered life she had led and her unique personality which is a combination of mind and body.
While Leila’s life story is narrated to make it compelling with sentimental and sensual prose, I felt the different types of friends came across as contrived and the writing style in the second part took on a flippant shade in some instances.
A memorable reading experience overall, though I liked her book “The Forty Rules of Love” more.