Review: Dare to Disappoint: Growing up in Turkey, by Özge Samanci
Dare to Disappoint: Growing up in Turkey felt like it should have been a longer tale. Özge Samanci’s early ears are richly detailed; as the protagonist ages, though, the granularity of the narrative stretches out, with discrete events replaced by more overarching sketches of longer periods of time and emotion. This may simply be an artifact of memory: disjointed and episodic recollections of early years giving way to more comprehensive understandings of later phases of life. This flow breaks down, though, near the end of the book when Özge decides to break with her and her father’s expectations to pursue a career more meaningful to her. She reaches her decision point, but the audience is left with an inspiring moral on the virtue of risk-taking, but little evidence apart from the book in their hands as to how it unfolded for the protagonist. The narrative is snappy and funny, with an informed but child’s-eye view of the dynamics of Turkish society in the waning days of the Cold War.