Daughter of War

( 1 )


Teenagers Kevork and his betrothed Marta are the lucky ones. They have managed so far to survive the Armenian genocide in Turkey, and both are disguised as Muslims. But Marta is still in Turkey, pregnant with another man's child. And Kevork is living as an Arab in Syria.

Kevork yearns to get back into Turkey and search for Marta, but with the war raging and the genocide still in progress, the journey will be...

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Teenagers Kevork and his betrothed Marta are the lucky ones. They have managed so far to survive the Armenian genocide in Turkey, and both are disguised as Muslims. But Marta is still in Turkey, pregnant with another man's child. And Kevork is living as an Arab in Syria.

Kevork yearns to get back into Turkey and search for Marta, but with the war raging and the genocide still in progress, the journey will be impossibly dangerous. Meanwhile, Marta worries that even if Kevork has survived and they are reunited, will he be able to accept what she has become? And what has happened to her sister, Mariam, who was sold as a slave to the highest bidder?

Daughter of War is a gripping story of enduring love and loyalty set against the horrors of Turkey during World War I.

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Editorial Reviews

Katy Moore
Set in Turkey in 1916, this novel plunges the reader into the little known episode of genocide in Turkey during the first World War. Told from the dueling perspectives of Marta and Kevork (two Armenian teenagers, forced into hiding, yet who are engaged to each other and desperate to find one another) this gripping novel tells the story of suffering and the atrocities of war from two very different perspectives. While Kevork is in Syria, attempting to make his way back to Marta, Marta is in Turkey, pregnant and afraid. The quest both of these characters are on attests to the difficult times of war, the pain of genocide, and the true commitment and loyalty they have for each other. While this book is not intended for younger readers, mature readers (10th grade and up) will appreciate the reality of this novel. The novel forces readers to think about the war from a new perspective, can be easily connected to ideas about history, and may be used to discuss context in current political events. Reviewer: Katy Moore
VOYA - Betsy Fraser
Two betrothed teenagers living in Turkey, Marta and Kevork, become separated and live wildly different lives, not knowing if the other has survived the genocide of the Ottoman Empire. Marta is taken into a Turkish home, where she is raped and then turned out of the house after she becomes pregnant. Kevork is adopted into an Arab clan in Syria. Marta knows that there is a danger that Kevork might not accept a Muslim child, and there is always the peril of war. Kevork is drawn into working as a courier and puts his own life at risk. The historical note at the novel's beginning provides some background into the chaotic times of the early twentieth century Ottoman Empire, identifying it as a dire time that makes for an engrossing historical background in a compelling story of survival, espionage, and love. This novel is carefully structured, giving a view of a piece of history that is not well known or appreciated. The characters are involving and well-rounded, providing readers a chance to find out about the history without being overwhelmed by it. The audience will be rooting for Marta to find her sister and Kevork. The Armenian massacre is a subject that has appeared in Skrypuch's work before, and Kevork was also seen in Skrypuch's novel Nobody's Child (Dundurn, 2004). This book will appeal to historical fiction fans as well as readers who enjoy a longer, more romantic story. Reviewer: Betsy Fraser
KLIATT - Claire Rosser
Unfortunately, there are many daughters of war, even today, but this daughter is an Armenian in Turkey during WW I. This was the period of the Armenian genocide as populations were ethnically cleansed—we still see that today—and literally millions died. This is an exciting story, telling of two young lovers (engaged to be married) who are separated, each to endure terrible suffering. Marta is taken as a concubine by a Turk, escapes with the help of his wife back to an orphanage for Armenian children run by kindly Germans, gives birth, and struggles to survive until the war is over. Kevork, her fiance, disguises himself as an Arab to hide his true identity as an Armenian. He is recruited by the resistance and risks everything to help other Armenians survive. There is a lot of thrilling action in a certainly exotic setting. Readers of Armenian descent will find this especially relevant to their own cultural understanding, but any readers who like historical fiction filled with danger, tragedy, and survival will like this novel. Reviewer: Claire Rosser
VOYA - Mair Luscombe
Daughter of War is a book about an overlooked subject that I wouldn't exactly think to read about, but I am glad I did. The novel is fascinating and well written. The character dynamic was realistic. I found the story relevant, but the only problem is that I don't think many teens will jump to read this book and that is a shame because it would be a benefit to read. I commend Skrypuch for this great novel. I would personally recommend this book to any teen looking for a good read. Reviewer: Mair Luscombe, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

Betrothed teens Kevork and Marta have been apart since being removed from their orphanage in Marash, Turkey, during the Armenian Genocide of 1915 when they were marched into the Syrian Desert without food or water. Separated by distance and the necessity of hiding, neither of them knows if the other is still alive. Kevork, rescued by nomads and now disguised as an Arab, is determined to return to the orphanage but faces many obstacles, including the opportunity to help smuggle funds and resources to the Armenians in concentration camps. Marta, meanwhile, had been taken in by a Muslim family in Aintab and forced to be a concubine. Now pregnant, she returns to the orphanage and helps protect its residents, still hoping to be reunited with Kevork. Because the story is told in alternating perspectives, readers know that both teens have survived, which removes some dramatic tension but allows the author to explore the development of the characters. Such is the universality of their feelings that a deep understanding of the historical context is not necessary, but would be helpful. Fortunately, a fairly detailed historical note and map provide context for readers who have likely heard very little about the second-largest genocide in history. This is a powerful, often harrowing novel that will appeal to those who appreciate books about people surviving in spite of grave injustices.-Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH

Kirkus Reviews
Following Nobody's Child (2003) and Aram's Choice (2006), Skrypuch continues the story of the Armenian genocide, this time focusing on the lives of Marta Hovsepian and Kevork Adomian. It's 1916, and World War I is raging. Two Armenian massacres have occurred, and the two protagonists have survived, for now-Marta by living in a Turkish home as a Muslim woman, Kevork by adoption into an Arab clan in Syria. They are betrothed but separated, neither knowing if the other has survived, always wondering if they will ever be reunited. The carefully structured narrative, with several alternating third-person points-of-view and much revealed through flashbacks, is distancing, but it does yield a sense of the epic; readers will feel that they have been on Kevork's journey with him, across the deserts and through the concentration camps in his quest to find Marta. The smells of the bazaars and graphic images from death marches and concentration camps root the story in the particulars of time and place. A good match with Adam Bagdasarian's Forgotten Fire (2002). (map, historical note) (Fiction. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554550449
  • Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
  • Publication date: 4/4/2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 975,757
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch is the author of many books for children and young adults, including Call Me Aram, Aram's Choice, Silver Threads, Enough, The Hunger, and Hope's War. Her novel about the Armenian genocide, Nobody's Child, was nominated for the Red Maple Award, the Alberta Rocky Mountain Book Award, and the B.C. Stellar Award; it was also listed by Resource Links as a "Best Book." An English scholar and former librarian, Marsha lives in Brantford, Ontario, with her husband and son.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2008

    A reviewer

    this book is amazing if you're into the political and historical aspect of WWI. it's also a great read for teens with a gripping love story and historical accuracy.

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