ACOM Book Club for March 2023

Book Club March

The ACOM Book Club met (really, truly met!) at Mim's on Thursday, March 16, 2023. Attendees were Jim, Margaret, Tom, Francis, Tashina and me. We all took the opportunity to enjoy various menu items, either to eat there or to take home. The book under discussion this month was "All the Light There Was" by Nancy Kricorian.

This book is about Armenians who survived the genocide and ended up in Paris. Twenty years later, they were subjected to the occupation of Paris by the German army and the subsequent 'disappearance' of Jewish families.

This brought back a lot of bad memories to some of the genocide survivors.

We all liked the book, although Francis liked the first half of the book much better than the second half. He thought that the second half got bogged down too much in domestic things, such as diaper changing.

Margaret liked various proverbs which were mentioned, such as one about a hungry dog, and a comment about shoes with their tongues hanging out looking like they were talking.
We discussed how the Armenians in Paris used their Armenian first names while at home, but used French first names when in public in order to better fit into society, During the German occupation the French government became much less friendly to 'troublesome immigrants'.
We talked about how in one case a young Jewish girl was hidden by an Armenian family in order to save her when her parents were hauled away to an internment camp.

We discussed how many Armenians became shoe makers in Paris.

We noted how the Armenians in Paris during World War II met Armenian men who had been in the Russian army, but agreed to fight for the German army in order to survive. Those men who survived the war and tried to return to Russia were sent to Siberian camps Later in the war, the Armenians in Paris welcomed Armenian soldiers who were fighting in the American army.

Because of the weather, our meeting was shorter than usual so the comments were fewer.
The book for next month is "The Whitsun Daughters" by Carrie Mesrobian. The meeting will either be at Mim's or at my house, in which case we will try to have a Zoom connection as well. I hope to see many of you then.

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