Maral Boyadjian; AS THE POPPIES BLOOMED; Salor Press (Fiction: Historical) 15.95 ISBN: 9780991124107
Byline: Jeff Fleischer
Cultural and historical details add depth to this love story set during the Armenian genocide.
With her debut novel As the Poppies Bloomed, Maral Boyadjian tells the story of an Armenian family living in the waning years of the Ottoman Empire. Though the story initially focuses on a budding romance, the threat of war and genocide always hovers over the proceedings. Boyadjian weaves those elements together well, striking the right balance between the family conflicts and the larger geopolitical ones, producing an effective work of fiction with real history behind it.
The story takes place in the village of Salor and begins in 1913, just before the start of World War I and about two years before the Armenian genocide that was carried out by the Ottomans during the war. A teenage girl, Anno, is in love with Daron, but her father refuses to let her associate with him because of Daron's father's reputation. Meanwhile, Anno's father is the head of the village, while her older brother is a freedom fighter taking dangerous rides to learn more about the intentions of their Turkish and Kurdish neighbors, and recent massacres against Armenians are never far from the...