NATIONAL BESTSELLER • From the bestselling author of The Flight Attendant, here is a sweeping historical love story that probes the depths of love, family, and secrets amid the Armenian Genocide during WWI.
When Elizabeth Endicott arrives in Aleppo, Syria, she has a diploma from Mount Holyoke, a crash course in nursing, and only the most basic grasp of the Armenian language. It’s 1915, and Elizabeth has volunteered to help deliver food and medical aid to refugees of the Armenian Genocide during the First World War. There she meets Armen, a young Armenian engineer who has already lost his wife and infant daughter. After leaving Aleppo and traveling into Egypt to join the British Army, he begins to write Elizabeth letters, realizing that he has fallen in love with the wealthy young American.
Years later, their American granddaughter, Laura, embarks on a journey back through her family’s history, uncovering a story of love, loss—and a wrenching secret that has been buried for generations.
Look for Chris Bohjalian's new novel, The Lioness!
Bohjalian's powerful newest (after The Night Strangers) depicts the Armenian genocide and one contemporary novelist's quest to uncover her heritage. In 1915, Bostonian Elizabeth Endicott arrives at a compound in Aleppo, Syria, to provide humanitarian aid to Armenian refugees. A fresh-faced nurse just out of college, Elizabeth has learned only rudimentary Armenian, but soon befriends Armen Petrosian, an engineer who lost his wife and daughter during the chaos of the deportations and mass murders. Though Armen departs for Egypt to fight with the British Army in WWI, their relationship blossoms into an epistolary romance. The atrocities of the genocide and the First World War continue, and Bohjalian spares no detail in his gritty descriptions. Nearly a century later, Laura Petrosian is living in the suburbs of New York City when a friend alerts her to a possible photo of her grandmother being used to advertise an exhibit about "the Slaughter You Know Next to Nothing About." As she explores her past, Laura discovers that what she once considered to be her grandparents' eccentricities their living room was dubbed the "Ottoman Annex" speak to a rich and tragic history. Though the action occasionally feels far-off, Bohjalian's storytelling makes this a beautiful, frightening, and unforgettable read.
Good book. Brutal in places.
Everyone should read this
I finished this novel in two days. It is both beautiful and heartbreaking…
This is a difficult story to read but at the same time it’s one that you can’t put down because you need to know what happens to all of the characters. It’s a heavy, beautiful, eye-opening, somber story that reminds the reader of just how far human imperfection goes. It was very well written and although the subject matter is sad, I loved the book.