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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Angel of Aleppo by Jon Cocks covers the Armenian genocide of 1915 at the hands of Ottoman Turks through the eyes of a young Armenian girl in a harrowing tale of survival against all odds. Sixteen-year-old Anoush dreads her own fate after the unexpected disappearance of her elder sister Anahid at the hands of the Turkish bey, Ibrahim. After accidentally killing one of Ibrahim's hired thugs, her nightmares come true when the Turks attack their village, leaving Anoush and her baby sister Covinar alongside the survivors in a seemingly hopeless march to nowhere. Witnessing the brutal atrocities committed by her oppressors, Anoush finds herself as a nurse in Aleppo, where she desperately searches for her missing sister. She reunites with her old flame, Krikor. But with Ibrahim on her trail, will she ever be truly free?
Author Jon Cocks tells a tragic and moving story set against the backdrop of a harrowing event in human history, the Armenian genocide under the Ottoman Empire. Cocks' narrative is unflinchingly raw, and he never shies away from showcasing the utterly horrendous acts committed by the Ottoman soldiers during the Armenian genocide. Using multiple POV characters, the non-linear narrative switches timelines, bypassing decades between 1915 and 1965. The characters feel like real people, and it adds a sense of authenticity to the story that only makes it all the more poignant. Angel of Aleppo is a book that is a must-read for readers who enjoy historical fiction. I found it absolutely riveting and highly recommend it.