Sourcebooks, February 2015. World English.
Leila is a good daughter of the Communist Party. She faithfully serves the KGB and is on her way to becoming a national treasure of Azerbaijan as a piano prodigy. But then her Communist mentor orders her to spy on Tahir, a young painter and music shop owner suspected of being a traitor.
Tahir opens up a world of music and art to Leila, cracking open the veneer of Communism and showing Leila its hypocrisy and corruption. Just when she begins to fall in love with both the West and Tahir, her comrades expose their relationship and force her to make an impossible choice.
Set at the crossroads of Turkish, Persian, and Russian cultures under the red flag of Communism in the late 1970s, THE ORPHAN SKY lyrically reveals one woman’s struggle to find her place in the world.
“I could hear the music while reading this extraordinary book. THE ORPHAN SKY has everything a reader could want: the thrill of young romance, the tension of spying, and a window into a fascinating culture along with a glimpse into the captivating past of Azerbaijan.”
—Deborah Rodriguez, author of New York Times bestseller Kabul Beauty School andMargarita Wednesdays
“An intriguing mix of romance, spying and hope – a delightful reading.”
—Scott Turow, New York Times bestselling author of Innocent
“A unique mix of musical temperament, folktale and teenage passion set against the hard backdrop of 1970s Soviet politics in Azerbaijan.”—Tracy Chevalier
Ella Leya is an Azerbaijani-American composer, singer, and writer. Defying the norms of the Muslim society, she was the first girl to play piano and sing jazz in a local club. Her albums have sold over 9 million copies worldwide. In 2006, Ella’s internationally acclaimed CD, “Russian Romance,” was named one of the ten best world music recordings. Her newest CD, “Secret Lives of Women,” celebrates the history’s most famous and infamous femme fatales, including Princess Diana, Mata Hari, Cleopatra, Sarah Bernhardt. Ella lives in Laguna Beach, CA and London with her husband and son Micah. Her website is www.ellaleya.com.