Beginning 24 months before WWI and the Armenian genocide is a love story that unravels a piece of 100-year-old history seen through the eyes of the young, courageous, and unyielding Anno and Daron. In an era of major human disaster and violence, this historical novel offers an easy, accessible understanding of what atrocities mean to regular people and how love overcomes the most unimaginable pain. From the colors used to dye the rugs, to the distances between the villages where guns were smuggled, to the fragrance of wild mushrooms snapping and sizzling on an open fire, each detail makes the reader truly participate in the life and struggle of the characters. Five years of research through gathering materials and traveling to the real-life village that is depicted in this novel, amid gunfire and bombings, has been poured into a love story that will either be savored by the reader or read in a frenzy to discover the fate of Anno and Daron.
It is 1913 and late summer in the Ottoman Empire. The sun rises, full and golden, atop a lush, centuries-old village tucked into the highlands where the blood-red poppies bloom. Outside the village leader's home, the sound of voices carries past the grapevines to the lane where Anno, his youngest daughter, slips out unseen.
She heads to a secret meeting place. She forgets that enemies surround her village. She forgets that her father meets each day with trepidation. She knows only the love she has for Daron, who waits for her as she hastens to him, once again breaking the ancient rules of courtship.
Anno and Daron wish for nothing more than marriage and a better day alongside their neighbors, but neither is prepared for the dark, dangerous secret that Daron's father keeps or the upheaval that will soon envelop their village, their land, and their hearts.