As the Poppies Bloomed: A Novel of Love in a Time of Fear
I read the paperback version.
This story takes place in the Ottoman Empire in the second decade of the Twentieth Century. During World War I to be exact. As the Poppies Bloomed is historical fiction and woven from the author’s grandparents true experiences in the Armenian Genocide. The story unfolds from the point of view of a young Armenian girl in love, destined to an arranged marriage. Nothing during wartime is ever simple and this story touches on so many complexities of life then and there.
What I Did Like
I enjoyed this book. The description of the landscape was marvelous. I had no problems mentally transporting myself there while reading. It took until about a third of the way in for me to get fully hooked which is when the plot finally picked up. There was a good character development and it wasn’t difficult to read. Additionally I learned about the Armenian Genocide of which I’d never heard about. You can definitely see similarities between what happened then and what’s going on over there now.
What I Didn’t Like
The only thing about this book I didn’t really care for was the character names! I know they were authentic and properly assigned. For some reason I had trouble keeping all the characters straight and found myself backtracking to make sure I’d read correctly. That part I didn’t like. Once I just read, and quit trying so hard, it got easier and more enjoyable. Toward the end I got it all sorted out.
Should You Read It?
If you enjoy historical fiction and war time settings, you’ll very likely enjoy this book. It has won a number of literary awards and is definitely worth the time and quite edifying.