The Blue Apple

by Aytül AKAL

Cumhuriyet Newspaper Literary Supplement

May 7, 2004

“Have you ever seen a blue apple? I have.” It would be unfair to recommend this book only to children. In fact, everyone should be able to see the blue apple… Birce, the heroin of this book, complains about her little sister’s naughtiness just like all other big sisters. Moreover, alongside her naughtiness, her sister Ece irritates Birce with her sauciness.


The story relates to Birce’s visit to Insuyu Cave during her trip to Antalya with her family. Birce and her father get lost in this cave, and throughout the story they seek for a way out.


The real beauty of the story lies in the philosophy within. Birce and her father come across creatures that they have never seen before. They question the world and life. They form interesting opinions, and they share their thoughts with the readers. While they walk towards the uncharted, dark parts of the cave, “Do you think that our world that we think is the earth could also be under a huge mountain?” Birce asks to her father. Then, “I wanted to imagine the whole world as if it was in a giant mountain,” she wonders. “Under those circumstances, the sun would be a huge lamp dangling from the ceiling. And the people, just like this bug, wouldn’t know about other universes.” When the Birce sprains her ankle, her dad says: “A person only remembers they have an ankle when they hurt it.”


During this journey that Birce embarks on, a path that touches both the depths of her soul and the life itself, the reader also steps into a magical world along with Birce. “It is always easier to find answers to our question while on unknown paths. The road is the best teacher.” In the end of her journey, Birce learns to appreciate and understand her sister.


I not only recommend this book -which has evoked the same thrill and wonder in me as Jostein Gaarder’s unbelievably beautiful Through a Glass, Darkly, TheSolitaire Mystery, or Hello? Is Anybody There? did- for children but also for adults.


It is an extraordinary book with its plot, setting, narration, carefully balanced didactic elements and oh-so-natural passage from reality to fantasy.

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