Monday, 10 December 2012

What readers are saying about A Requiem, Armenian Style

“A compelling and fascinating story about deeply emotional journeys by people left homeless in their heart in search of being and belonging despite the odds. With subtle humour, intense sorrow and uncompromising realism, this thoughtful book helps recapture a sense of belonging in our own lives.” – Prof. Arpi Hamalian, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

 “I have rarely read a memoir that has been so meticulously researched and skillfully written. Because of my increasingly limited eyesight, I can rarely read for more than an hour at a time. However, so compelling was your book that I found myself unwilling to put it down until I had read the next chapter… and the next…. I learned from my reading many aspects of my family's background and life that I did not know. And it was a privilege to be led into your family's background and life. So thank you, Ruth. You did it, and I love it.” Commissioner Kenneth Laslett Hodder, United States

“This is a memoir that shouldn't be marginalized as an Alzheimer's memoir or an Armenian memoir—it crosses so many more borders.... Your account of the genocide is powerful—brought it more alive for me than even Robert Fisk did in ‘The Great War for Civilisation’. You interweave your protagonists tenderly, and with such insight—your mom, Armenia, yourself. The dream sequences are particularly poignant.” – Melinda Price Wiltshire, Victoria, Canada

“I was once told that without the knowledge of your past history, origin and culture you are but a tree without roots. Reading Ruth's book was like a walk in the woods amongst magnificent, strong, and deeply rooted trees. Very slowly, you recognize yourself in them, an enduring force of nature, reaching for the sky.” – France Adams, author of the children’s book “The Restless Tree”

A Requiem, Armenian Style is a beautiful, eloquent story with a focus on the author's Armenian mother who married and joined her husband’s religious vocation in the Salvation Army in France. Ruth had the luck of access to a wealth of family archival material and combined it with her own years of research—the language is absolutely beautiful and the journey she takes us on, especially the latter part of the book and its frank descriptions of her mom’s Alzheimer’s made this a book that Rob carried around for days, trying in vain to read it slowly, wanting to linger over details, the eloquent, perfect words, and a compelling, dramatic tale. In the end, he gained some surprising insight into Armenians and their history, the Salvation Army and its operations, and learned a lot about the challenges and sacrifices that families make on a journey to acceptance and especially the fleeting nature of memory. Rob loved this book.” – Taken from a Christmas newsletter written by Chris Krawchenko and Rob Shaw

What was to be a personal account of dealing with your mother’s Alzheimer’s turned out to be the realization of your identity. In your quest to know more about who you are, you found answers to aspects of your personality that you never knew you had. Also the sadness found its roots. You wrote honestly but not hurtfully. Naturally, it is your perception, but the dynamics presented could be an account of many families dealing with their elderly parents. I was both amazed and impressed to see how much research it took to write your story. What perseverance!” – Lydia Doerksen, Switzerland

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