4.34 (81 ratings by Goodreads)
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The Ottoman Empire, 1915

On the Black Sea coast, Anyush Charcoudian dances at her friend's wedding, dreaming of a life beyond her small Armenian village. Defying tradition, she embarks on a secret and dangerous affair with a Turkish officer, Captain Jahan Orfalea. As the First World War rages, the Armenian people are branded enemies of the state, and atrocities grow day by day. Torn apart and catapulted into a struggle to survive in the face of persecution and hatred, the lovers strive desperately to be reunited.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 154 x 224 x 28mm | 499.99g
  • O'Brien Press Ltd
  • Brandon
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • English
  • 184717566X
  • 9781847175663
  • 371,737

About Martine Madden

Martine Madden was born in Limerick, worked in Dublin and later moved to the United Arab Emirates with her husband John. The stories recounted to her by the Armenian diaspora there prompted her interest in Armenian history and formed the basis of the novel Anyush. Martine returned to Ireland in 1990 and now lives in the Midlands with her husband and five children.
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Review quote

A deeply touching, powerful and vividly described love story set amidst the barbarism of Armenian genocide. * Julia Kelly, author of With My Lazy Eye * A haunting love story set against the sweeping historical events that shaped the modern Orient. -- Conor O'Clery A beautiful and haunting work. -- Donal Ryan a compelling heartrending tale of love, loss and survival intertwined within the factual base of the Armenian genocide. This thought provoking story is set in a period of atrocities that may not be known to many, yet the author has the ability not only to transport you through time, her vivid descriptions engage all of your senses, shaping the land and people around you. You witness the very best and the very worst of people; while throughout a fledgling love fights to exist, to grow, to survive ... This is a novel for your book shelves, to read again and mull over, to question - can love really conquer all? -- a powerful story of love and loss ... poignant and heartbreaking in equal measure ... well written ... a commendable and timely debut novel -- a haunting love story ... meticulously researched and moving ... the sort of book that gets under your skin and stays with you long after you have finished reading it ... a haunting and beautifully written first novel -- Irish Independent unforgettable -- Irish Examiner an ambitious novel -- Books Ireland a finely written and moving debut ... Madden is a natural storyteller ... memorable and poignant -- Sunday Times' Culture Martine Madden has written a work of fiction that deserves its place on every bookshelf, alongside The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns ... I didn't just read this book, I inhaled it. The sights, smells and atmosphere were written with such clarity and were respectful of the period -- Bleachhouse Library Madden portrays the injustices of a tiered system with clarity and compassion ... the book excels in its description of local culture, landscape, architecture and language ... a worthwhile read -- Irish Times an important book ... brave ... heartbreaking ... a wonderful and brave debut that brings credit to the publisher as well as the author -- Irish Echo wonderful -- Pat Kenny, Newstalk Just finished reading the fantastic Anyush by @martinemadden1. A very moving story. Total page turner & tear jerker -- Sinead Moriarty
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Rating details

81 ratings
4.34 out of 5 stars
5 48% (39)
4 38% (31)
3 14% (11)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)

Our customer reviews

This is a beautiful and sad historical novel centred on the true events during the First World War and the terrible consequences of the the Armenian people. In some novels the history can be inaccurate and lacking in detail. This was not the case. This book has come at the right time in that this is the centenary years since the Great War. It is set in 1915 in the Ottoman Empire, fighting the war on the German side. This gives an insight into a period of history that not everyone may be aware of. There is a love story and I found myself shedding a tear, but also a great sadness for the treatment and atrocities suffered by the Armenian people. I have read a lot about this war, but had barely touched on this aspect, which needs to be highlighted so that people do not just focus on Britain and its allies and Germany. This story is about Anyush and the fight to defend her family from the devastation and harms of war. There is an interesting background to this Irish author and novel, while living in UAE she was told stories by the Armenian diaspora there and gave her an insight into Armenian history which then prompted her to write this novel. This is a story I shall be thinking about for a long time and would urge my friends and colleagues to read this on two levels, the story and the more
by jane brown
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