Where Were You When Darkness Fell
(Karanlık Çökerken Neredeydiniz)

Mario Levi

The novel tells the story of six friends who come together at the beginning of the 2000s after a separation of more than thirty years. The place of the meeting is Istanbul. They have all made new lives for themselves in other cities or countries with the exception of Isaac, the narrator/main character of the story who tries to bring his friends together. At the time of this new encounter, Isaac is in his fifties like his friends. During his high school and university years in the 70s, he has followed leftist ideas in spite of his family but in accordance with the expectations of that time. However, he has gradually succumbed to the system throughout the years by taking over the management of his father's shop where perfumery goods are sold, developing the business and becoming a very wealthy man. In the meanwhile, he has married a woman who is a Jew like himself and has fathered two children. Although this appears to be a typical story of submission, Isaac has also managed to build areas of resistance within this bourgeois life. For instance, his environment continues its clash with the values of the country and the society he lives in. He continues to develop his artistic taste with the help of his financial power. He owns a good music and film archive. He goes on frequent trips to discover new cities and countries, taking photographs everywhere he goes. Throughout the years, he becomes the owner of a photograph collection large enough to open many exhibitions. As his life seems to continue in this orderly manner, it is deeply shaken by an unexpected incident for which he is not at all ready. Now it is time to review and question all lives and choices made.