All the Light There Was

Nancy Kricorian. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24 (288p) ISBN 978-0-547-93994-0
Maral Pegorian, a young Armenian girl in Paris during WWII, watches cautiously through shuttered windows as the Germans march down the avenues below. Instead of leaving, the Pegorians have decided to quietly ride out the occupation. Food is scarce and rations closely guarded, but a beam of hope drives Maral through the hardship and hunger: her infatuation with fellow Armenian Zaven, who, with Maral’s older brother, Missak, joins the Resistance and brings the Pegorians’ precarious freedom to the edge of disaster. To avoid conscription into the German work program, Zaven decides to follow his older brother, Barkev, underground, which leaves Maral to anxiously await his return. But Barkev returns alone; Zaven, who died in the work camps, made Barkev vow to look after Maral, who now finds her loyalties tested. Kricorian’s depiction of a small community’s experience of war is solid and touching. Readers are instantly drawn into this world, full of hardships of wartime occupation and references to the Armenian genocide of the previous generation. Thanks to multifaceted characters, Kricorian’s treatment of family dynamics and love under extreme circumstances creates an emotional read. Agent: Maria Massie, Lippincott Massie McQuilkin. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/21/2013
Release date: 03/12/2013
Paperback - 275 pages - 978-1-63152-905-4
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-547-93996-4
Open Ebook - 314 pages - 978-1-63152-906-1
MP3 CD - 978-1-5226-7941-7
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