John Balian.s .Novel Approach. Brings the Armenian Saga tothe Masses
|Armenians often wish for a tale about the Armenian Genocideand its aftermaththat would make a blockbuster film and draw attention totheir cause. John Balian.s new book, Gray Wolves and White Doves (CreateSpace/Amazon.com), may be that tale.
Largely autobiographical, this atmospheric novel ispresented through the eyes of an innocent young boy trying to make sense of theworld as he grows up amid
repressive conditions in Western armenia/EasternTurkey during the 1960s and
This fast-paced, multi-layered narrative takes readers fromHanna Ibelin.s (a.k.a. Jonah Ibelinian.s) close-knit family life in theperilous Asia Minor
region of Palu to terror and tragedy while en route to Syria.sKamishli, to a bleak existence on the mean streets of Istanbul.
Facing the disintegration of his family, Hanna is promisedsalvation abroad.
Guardians enroll him in the Armenian seminary of Jerusalem,where he takes his Armenian name Jonah Ibelinian, and practices Armeniancustoms in comfort and safety. But as Jonah begins to adjust to this new life,he encounters inter-ethnic strife, clerical corruption, deception, andbanishment for alleged
insurrection against the Turkish state.
While on the lam in Europe, Jonah searches for lost kin ashe stays just one
step ahead of his pursuers. As he hides from the Turkishsecret police, fugitive Jonah is coaxed by a former rival to conduct a secretmission in exchange for acceptance. Jonah also searches the depths of his ownconscience as he is told that his mission is to be carried out at the TurkishAirlines counter at Orly
Airport on the outskirts of Paris.
As the story crescendos into a dynamic climax, buriedsecrets, and hidden identities and motives are revealed . leading the grippingsaga to a fulfilling
Gray Wolves and White Doves. storyline is laced with intrigues and betrayals, ancient traditions,comic relief and accurate historical depictions . fused
together by theprotagonist.s indomitable will to live in freedom and dignity.
This literaryachievement is already being put on par with Billy Hayes.
autobiographicalthriller and award-winning film, Midnight Express. WhileGray Wolves and White Doves stands on itsown merits as a spellbinding story, author John Benjamin Sciarra aptly pointsout that Balian.s treatment further elevates it because ..by setting [thenovel] in the shadow of the attempted annihilation of Armenians by Turks, thehistorical background becomes as meaningful as the story itself..
Protagonist Ibelinian possesses many fine qualities oftenattributed to the Armenian people: Christian values, love of family, drive,talent, and a strong
work ethic. The grace and humility with which Jonah facesdown impossible odds offers readers a model to emulate and an opportunity toplace their own personal
challenges into perspective. And by presenting hisstory as a cross between Raffi.s epic Khentè and a John Grisham novel, Baliancaptures the interest of
general readers while introducing them to theArmenians . a people whose history has been hijacked, culture appropriated, andappeals for justice disregarded.
To learn more and to purchase the book, visit http://johndbalian.com.
On Wednesday evening, Sep. 28th, at 7:00pm, the St. GregoryMen.s Club will sponsor a presentation and book signing by John Balian at theSt. Gregory the
Enlightener Armenian Church.sAtrium, 1131 North St,White Plains, NY, 10605, http://stgregoryarmenianchurch.org.
Interested individuals must RSVP in advance
to Chris Bonfiglioat (914) 707-2152, or email@example.com. Admission is $10 and light refreshments will be served.
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Reviewer Lucine Kasbarian is a book publicist on leave,and the author of The
Greedy Sparrow: AnArmenian Tale, www.lucinekasbarian.com