This amazing novel is set in Istanbul

I don’t know why I haven’t heard of Agnes Bushell, an exceptional author who lives in Portland, but when I read Dana Wilde’s Kennebec Journal review of Bushell’s novel Asian Vespers, I quickly got a copy of and found it to be fascinating.

And here is the really good news. I can now look forward to reading all of her other novels!

Asian Vespers is truly an exceptional story, and very pertinent because it focuses on the Kurds in Istanbul. The lead character, Aris Butler, traveled to Turkey from Massachusetts to deliver a half million dollars to someone who is trying to provide relief to the Kurds.

I don’t know how Bushell knew so much about those countries, but she really captures them in great detail. There’s a lot to this novel, and even though it is 362 pages long, I read it in two afternoons and evenings, anxious to see how it all worked out.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that our country abandoned the Kurds last month, making this novel very timely. I learned a lot about the Kurds in this novel.

Dana Wilde described the book very well, writing “this is an absorbing, timely, really beautiful novel, with vividly wrought characters placed deftly in their cultural, social and political milieus within a tense story.”

I can’t describe it any better than that.

Dana also noted that Bushell “is one of Maine’s largely unsung master fiction writers.”

Well she’s not unsung with me anymore!

You can obtain this novel by contacting Littoral Books in Portland.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.