- ASIN: B0B6CX1QF8
- Publisher: Quiet Thunder Publishing; 1st edition (November 2, 2022)
- Publication date: November 2, 2022
- Language: English
- Genre: Family Saga Memoir
The BookViral Review:
From a persecuted and reviled existence in their beloved Armenia, a ‘land of singing in the streets, fine foods and gardens and orchards beside the shores of Lake Van’, ‘Destiny of Determination-Faith and Family’, sees the survival of a fractured family as they struggle to make a new life for themselves in the United States.
With a focus on Hrang, the youngest son, this uplifting memoir spans over a Century of love and loss, and of acceptance and discrimination.
Living under the oppressive Ottoman regime, for Hrang’s family life was a constant struggle. All Armenians-the only Christian nation in the middle East-were seen as second-class citizens and taxed excessively for their culture and religion. Women were ill-treated. Terrible atrocities were meted out, and the family were not to escape its touch, with his father executed, and his two sisters raped and murdered.
After a harrowing journey to Norway, and on to the United States of America, 10yr old Hrang, his sickly brother and his Mother finally arrived to join his two older brothers, narrowly escaping deportation.
The family’s inspiring and entrepreneurial journey and their successful integration into the American way of life brings into sharp relief the plight, suffering and inner strength of refugees, along with the challenges a change in cultural surroundings may bring.
Although any discrimination suffered was nothing compared to that from the Ottomans, Hrang faced particular prejudice on meeting his future wife, Marjorie. Hrang had already been promised in an arranged marriage and Marjorie’s Father objected strongly, eventually cutting her off completely. With touching sensitivity, Cathy Burnham Martin describes their heart-stopping moments of separation, and their tenacity in holding on to their love, as Hrang confronts his family and eventually wins over their full support.
This beautiful love story binds her story together, as does the family’s heart-warming support of one another. Burnham Martin’s compassionately written account of Hrang, whose early years had been filled with so much hatred, danger and upheaval but could still look at life with genuine hope, and speak in a consistently strong, but gentle voice to end ignorant and chauvinistic attitudes, is an inspirational testimony to the warm and forgiving nature of this gentle and peace-loving race.
The family’s discovery that their sister Nazeli had survived and Mothered her own children was an intensely emotional and fitting end to this poignant and moving memoir.
A historically fascinating and thoughtfully written memoir it is highly recommended.