I find almost every story about the Armenian genocide almost impossibly painful to read. Still, Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch's fictional account Daughter of War brings humanity, love, and hope into a story that is, at the same time, dark, painful, and horrific.
When the story begins, Marta has been living in the home of a Muslim, given refuge but also forced into the status of inferior wife. Upon finding out Marta is pregnant, the elder wife bundles Marta into a cart, bound who knows where. Meanwhile, Marta's love from before the "deportations," Kevork, is working as a cobbler, disguised as an Arab. Neither has any idea whether the other is even still alive.
But they maintain hope, somehow--and both end up fighting the injustice of their society as best they can. Marta returns to the orphanage where she lived as a child, hoping to find refuge during her pregnancy, and ends up helping other orphaned children; Kevork begins a difficult odyssey as a messenger for those resisting the government. This is a story filled with both excruciating historical detail and no-holds-barred emotion--at times disturbing, but it's a story that needs to be told, with an ultimately uplifting ending.
Buy this book from an independent bookstore near you!