GARDENS OF GRIEF was a finalist for the 2011 ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year Awards in the HISTORICAL FICTION category.
GARDENS OF GRIEF — a brilliant, and socially important novel — is less a sequel to THE CREED OF VIOLENCE than an organic evolvement. It follows John Lourdes, an agent with the Bureau of Investigation, who is sent by the U.S. State Department to Constantinople in 1915. The Great War has begun and the British have been defeated at the Dardanelles. In Turkey the government means to see every Christian Armenian exterminated, in what will become the first genocide of World History. John Lourdes’ clandestine assignment is to help an outlaw priest named Malek get safely across the war-ravaged Ottoman Empire. The priest, hunted by the Turkish government because he is an Armenian, is a hero to his people and a political threat to the Central Powers. The novel, very much a Homeric epic, has the sweep and grandeur of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. It will be to modern literature what the great chanson degeste THE SONG OF ROLAND was to the Middle Ages. A parabolic and visceral tale of sacrifice and martyrdom. It is not only compelling human drama, but it is also rich with detail about what truly took place in Turkey in 1915. The book is the definitive battlefield for those who say the genocide did happen, and those who say it did not. Regardless, the book presents the horror and the grandeur, in Kipling’s words, “Lest we forget.”