Shelve, Borrow, or Eschew?

2/5 Stars


Elizabeth Endicott is a wealthy college grad with enough training in nursing to warrant her journey to Aleppo with her father in the midst of the Armenian genocide in 1915.  It is there, among the dead and dying, that she meets Armen, a handsome young Armenian somehow spared from mass killings.  Nearly a century later, their granddaughter Laura is trying to piece together her grandparents’ history, using newspaper articles, journal entries, and old letters to reconstruct the circumstances surrounding their unlikely love story and inadvertently uncovering a tragic secret locked away since Elizabeth’s days in Syria.


While I commend Bohjalian’s effort to illuminate the atrocities of the Armenian genocide–a tragedy conveniently ignored in most history lessons here in the states–the combination of subpar writing skill and utterly contrived plot left me unfortunately dissatisfied. Bohjalian seems most in his element when discussing the carnage found in the…

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