From author Alev Lytle Croutier, 'Seven Houses' chronicles the lives and secrets of four generations of women, sweeping readers from the last days of the Ottoman monarchy to Turkey's transformation into a republic. It is the saga of a silkmaking family as told through the seven houses they occupied. From a grand villa in Smyrna in the early years of the twentieth century to a silk plantation in the foothills of Mount Olympus, from a tiny house in a sleepy town to an apartment in a modern urban high-rise, the family's dwellings reflect its fortune's rise and fall as communal baths and odalisques give way to movies and cell phones. We begin in 1910 with Esma, a young widow who defies tradition to live independently with her two young sons. Against the backdrop of World War I, her love affair with their tutor brings tragedy as well as joy in the shape of daughter Aida, whose otherworldy beauty is a source of both pleasure and hardship. There is Esma's granddaughter, Amber, whose sheltered childhood on a silk plantation undergoes a wrenching transition to urban Ankara to the beat of Elvis Presley on the transistor radio. And then there is Nellie, Amber's American-born daughter, whose return to Ismir brings the novel - and the family - full circle.