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Annihilation: A Story of the Armenian Genocide

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Bosland's story of the Armenian Genocide is a tragic tale of loss, pain, and desperation, but where there is will there is a way.

Synopsis

Her government wants her dead. The Republic of Turkey doesn't want you to hear about her.

Rosmerta Bedrosian is a thirteen-year-old girl living with her Armenian family in Eastern Anatolia in 1915. Frustrated by their declining fortunes, the Ottoman state needs a scapegoat. They find one in their Christian subjects and drive the Armenian population on death marches into the Syrian desert. Rosmerta witnesses acts of increasingly senseless violence and cruelty. How can she survive when everyone around her is dying?

Annihilation: A Story of the Armenian Genocide is both an engrossing coming-of-age story and a thrilling historical memoir. Michael Bosland's first novel is a gripping tale of brutality with touching moments of human kindness and decency in the face of overwhelming horror.

Pick up your copy now and see what the Turkish government wishes the world would forget.

Living in constant fear is no way to live. Historians have written our stories since the Ice Age and the one concept that remains constant is the fear of war. We see their detailed drawings and writing in pictures that were captured throughout the ages and we have become the biggest threat to ourselves. No matter the culture, race, religion, education, or any other factor that we use to discriminate, we breathe the same air, share the same earth, and life is a precious commodity for all. Bosland really captures just how fragile and heart wrenching war can be and readers will certainly be enraptured by this story of true sadness.


Rosmerta and her family are uprooted from their home in Bayburt by the Turkish government for being Armenian and sentenced to death marches through the Syrian desert. Along the way, Rosmerta slowly loses everyone who she's ever loved. The boy who is supposed to become her husband has protected her thus far, but even he cannot stand up against the soldiers who segregate them into different camps once they reach a new town. Through fever, lice, dehydration, and violence, Rosmerta doesn't understand how she has survived this far when everyone else has perished. What will be in store for her once they come across the next town? She knows that she will most definitely die if she stays on this path with these soldiers, but what are her options for escape? She has to keep the promise she made to her father before he died, that she will do everything in her power to stay alive.


Bosland's story is a very hard one to read, but not from lack of understanding or difficulty in writing. The context is violent and readers may find it challenging; therefore, this story s not recommended for children or teenagers under the age of eighteen. The author does share his insight on the research that he completes for this story regarding what is referred to as the first genocide of the Twentieth Century so his credibility is on par; however, he does mention that his character is fictitious. The story, while violent, does carry a fast pace and is well-written with little to no grammatical or spelling errors. If you are a reader of historical fiction with an emphasis on Turkey and the Ottoman Empire, this may be of interest to you.


An electronic copy of this book was provided to Turning Another Page by Reedsy Discovery and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a five-star rating to Annihilation: A Story of the Armenian Genocide  by Michael Bosland.

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Turning Another Page is a small web-based business, owned and operated out of San Antonio, Texas. Originally created as an official book blog in November 2014, Turning Another Page has successfully grown to encompass services that can be offered to authors worldwide.

Synopsis

Her government wants her dead. The Republic of Turkey doesn't want you to hear about her.

Rosmerta Bedrosian is a thirteen-year-old girl living with her Armenian family in Eastern Anatolia in 1915. Frustrated by their declining fortunes, the Ottoman state needs a scapegoat. They find one in their Christian subjects and drive the Armenian population on death marches into the Syrian desert. Rosmerta witnesses acts of increasingly senseless violence and cruelty. How can she survive when everyone around her is dying?

Annihilation: A Story of the Armenian Genocide is both an engrossing coming-of-age story and a thrilling historical memoir. Michael Bosland's first novel is a gripping tale of brutality with touching moments of human kindness and decency in the face of overwhelming horror.

Pick up your copy now and see what the Turkish government wishes the world would forget.

Kaj Mohmod

Epigraph

 

22 August 1939

 

“Our strength is our speed and our brutality…I have provided my Death-Head Units with orders to mercilessly and without compassion, send men, women, and children…to their death… Who still speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

 

Adolf Hitler


Kaj Mohmod

 

Bedros Elmassian strolled down Bayburt’s main street after picking up the gold coins for the monthly payment to the prince. He tried to look as casual as he could—just another leisurely walk home for a quiet evening with his family. He turned down the narrow dirt alley that connected the main street to the only paved road in town. Two blocks down Emerald Street, past the giant houses of the Bayburt elite, and Bedros would reach his comfortable home at the edge of town. The prince’s men would collect the family’s tribute in the morning.

 

ÖŤ

 

Kaj Mohmod saw Bedros and his heart began to race. He slipped quietly into the alley and stepped into the entrance of a small courtyard. Time seemed to stand still as Kaj held his breath, waiting. It’s taking too long. He should be here by now. The waiting…always the waiting. Really, he should be here by now.

Then the march of time reasserted itself, marked by the sound of Bedros’ footsteps as he moved through the alley. Kaj stiffened and gripped the handle of his hatchet so tightly that he could feel his hand going numb. As he listened to every step getting closer and closer, an intense tingling raced throughout his body. He had to move, to jump, to stomp, to shuffle… anything.

Finally, Bedros passed by. Kaj crept into the alley behind him. He raised his hatchet high above his head, then drove it down as hard as he could. In his excitement, Kaj had lunged too far forward. Instead of splitting his target’s head with the blade, the handle of his weapon crashed down on Bedros’s shoulder.

Bedros recoiled in pain but recovered his legs without falling. He straightened up and turned to face his attacker.

Kaj screamed in frustration, swinging his hatchet like an Olympic hammer thrower. This time the blade found its mark, splitting Bedros’s face above the lower jaw. Bedros collapsed in agony, his blood spraying all over Kaj. The hatchet blade snapped out of Bedros’s head. Still screaming, Kaj dropped to his knees and continued to pound the hatchet into the shattered skull over and over until the blade stuck. Then he rolled the body over and reached into the pocket of Bedros’s jacket.

It’s not here. It has to be here. Working for the infidels at the town’s only bank was humiliating. Kaj was from a successful family that owned a spice business in Tsarevo. They lost the business, and everything else, in 1912 when the Bulgarian army chased them from their homes. In the mad rush to reach the safety of Constantinople, Kaj was separated from his family.

He arrived in the capital of the Ottoman Empire alongside thousands of other nameless refugees. Finding only rejection, he started a long, lonely trek east looking for work. When he arrived in Bayburt, his business experience helped him land a job at the bank. He hated it. The pay was horrible—barely enough to live on. Worse yet, the bank was managed by an Armenian man. Seeing an inferior race living better than his own people distressed Kaj at the nucleus of his soul. His rage was unbearable.

But the degrading position had its perks. On the first day of every month, Kaj observed Bedros Elmassian withdraw from the bank one gold coin for everyone in his extended Armenian family. The money was in a small leather purse, which Bedros placed into the left inside pocket of his coat.

Kaj punched Bedros’s dead body in the chest and screamed. He checked again. It has to be here. But no, the pocket was empty. Kaj flailed away like a child having a temper tantrum until his right hand was jolted by a shock of sudden pain. He had hit something hard on Bedros’s right side. No, it was his left side. In his enraged state, Kaj had checked the wrong pocket.

“Hey, what are you doing there?”

Kaj jumped to his feet. He tried to run but tripped over the bloody mass that had been Bedros. Covered in blood and holding the sack of gold, Kaj was caught.


About the author

Mr. Bosland has a lifelong passion for history and has spoken on topics as diverse as King Henry VIII and the California Gold Rush. He lives in Rockport, Maine, with his wife and four cats. Annihilation: A story of the Armenian Genocide is Mr. Bosland's first novel. view profile

Published on November 01, 2019

Published by

50000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Historical Fiction

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