Friday, September 28, 2012

Home is Beyond the Mountains

Home is Beyond the Mountains
by Celia Barker Lottridge
Samira is only nine years old when the Turkish army invades northwestern Persia in 1918, driving her family from its tiny village. They flee into the mountains, but the journey is so difficult that only Samira and her older brother survive. Beginning with a refugee camp run by the British Army, the children are shunted from one temporary home to another, finally ending up in an orphanage where it seems that they will live out their childhood. Then the new orphanage director, Susan Shedd, decides that she will take the 300 refugee children back to their home villages — a journey of 300 miles — through the mountains, on foot. Samira embarks on the journey with wonder and fear. Even if they make it, will there be anyone in her old village to take her in? (description from

I was surprised how easy this book was to read. It's written in very simple sentences and goes very, very quickly. I think I read the whole book in about 2 1/2 hours. I had not really thought I would enjoy this one that much (thanks in part to a yucky cover :/) but it turned out to be pretty interesting.

I don't honestly know that much about the middle eastern area in history and so this story was pretty much all knew to me. Some themes from history are all the same, though, so this story of children who become orphaned in a foreign land did not feel so foreign that I couldn't relate to it. This was a heartbreaking and yet, still hopeful story.

While not quite as epic as some of the other historical fictions I've read recently, I did enjoy breezing through this one.

Full disclosure: Borrowed from my library

1 comment:

  1. Being Armenian, I know a bit about that time in history because of the Armenian genocide of 1915, but I've never read anything about the Turkish invasion of other areas. This sounds like it would be an interesting and illuminating book. Thanks for the review.