A Summer Without Dawn

Agop J. Hacikyan and Jean-Yves Soucy, trans. from the French by Christina Le Vernoy and Joyce Bailey, Interlink, $20 (548p) ISBN 978-156656-802-9
In this sweeping, well-crafted historical, Canadian authors Hacikyan and Soucy recreate the 1915 Armenian genocide through the eyes of a young family. When orders come down to leave their Muslim-Christian town of Sivas (to "purify Anatolia of foreigners"), Vartan Balian—a 38-year-old Armenian medical officer in the Ottoman army and a former writer of revolutionary Armenian history—must decide how to follow the sultan's dictates and also protect his wife, Maro, and their six-year-old son, Tomas. Before he can make his move, however, Vartan is arrested in conjunction with a failed Armenian rebellion, while Maro and Tomas are forced into a wretched convoy of deportees. Saved from execution by his boyhood friends, Vartan assumes the identity of a Turkish lieutenant and goes on the run. Meanwhile, Maro and Tomas are seized by a Turkish governor and pressed into his polygamous harem. Though somewhat didactic, this richly textured work is exciting and horrifying, infused with lust, betrayal, vengeance, and plenty of bloody mayhem. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/31/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
Hardcover - 545 pages - 978-0-86356-538-0
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