Guiltless Reading:
I thought I was in for a cross-cultural romance. But this is so much better . . . a book with depth, with sensitive and non-judgmental characterizations, and an insightful look into women’s self-identity behind (or without) the veil. read more

Books Without Any Pictures:
Silk Armor is the story of Claire Sydenham, an American woman teaching English in Turkey.  While she is there, she observes the relationship between her colleague Victor and Didem, one of her students.  Victor and Didem’s relationship is tragic and destructive, highlighting the clash between old and new cultural values… read more

The Coffee Pot:
Claire Sydenham unveils a Turkish story of love, betrayal, hope, and despair with her novel, Silk Armor. Told from a third party’s perspective, the romance between an American man and a Turkish woman is shared as the world works against this imagined kismet.
read more

Dolce Bellezza:
This fascinating novel took me to Turkey. It showed me the lives of American teachers abroad, the lives of young and lovely Turkish girls, the strictness of their environment, and how our expectations and dreams can be thwarted by our desires.
read more

World Literature Today:
Sydenham’s power of crafting characters that walk the pages as individuals with their own thickly layered struggles . . . is compelling enough to make readers turn inside to the truths within themselves. read more

Literary R&R:
Silk Armor is a powerful story of cultural ties, veiled existence, and deep-seated beliefs. Focusing on Didem, a student, and her love affair with her American instructor, Ms. Sydenham takes us on a journey through another country where religion and familial ties are a burden holding a young girl back from her dreams. read more

The Steadfast Reader:
Silk Armor is a cultural exploration of what it means to be veiled and what it means to eschew not only that tradition in Turkey, but tradition in general. This is a compelling and beautifully written piece of literary fiction about tradition, feminism, and that place where east meets west. read more

Booksie’s Blog:
Claire Sydenham has written a compelling, haunting novel about the yearning for different lives and the difficulty of changing one’s culture and its expectations. read more

 Old Harbour 3516550_orig