My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I knew of the Armenian Genocide in an abstract way. This telling, largely based on journals of one involved, made it so harrowing and vivid. It is hard to imagine marching on while one’s companions drop out to die, being unable to help. Not only leaving companions behind but marching by bodies of those who had died days before. Thirty plus died in a day.
It is also hard to imagine the thirst, the hunger, the lack of clothing.
And the ruse that they were going back home when they were actually going to be executed, which eventually the deportees realized.
The grandfather’s story was so well told that even though I knew he came out alive, I was on pins and needles as I read challenge after challenge, betrayal after betrayal.
The weakest part was the narration of the author’s journey retracing the grandfather’s. It was a good idea, an important link, but fell flat to my ear. There were a few places where it livened up a bit: in the shop with the women dressing her in a scarf to go into a mosque and the meeting of the family of the Sheikh who saved the grandfather.