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Hassanakis is a young Muslim boy of Turkish descent growing up on Crete during WWI. Fifteen generations of his family have lived on the island and until now he has never had any reason not to think he is a Cretan. But with the Great Powers tussling over the collapsing Ottoman Empire and the island's Christians in rebellion, an outbreak of ethnic violence forces his family Hassanakis is a young Muslim boy of Turkish descent growing up on Crete during WWI. Fifteen generations of his family have lived on the island and until now he has never had any reason not to think he is a Cretan. But with the Great Powers tussling over the collapsing Ottoman Empire and the island's Christians in rebellion, an outbreak of ethnic violence forces his family to flee to the Cretan City of Chania. He begins to lay down roots and his snappy dress earns him the nickname of Hassan 'the mirror'. As WWI draws to a close and the Turkish War of Independence rages, he begins a heady romance with the elegant H�sniye. There are rumours that the Cretan Muslims will be sent to Turkey but Hassanakis can't believe he will be sent to a country whose language he barely knows and where he knows no-one. This powerful novel drawn from the diary of a refugee family evokes the beauty, complexity and trauma of Crete's past and weaves it into a moving tale of an ordinary man living through extraordinary times.


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Hassanakis is a young Muslim boy of Turkish descent growing up on Crete during WWI. Fifteen generations of his family have lived on the island and until now he has never had any reason not to think he is a Cretan. But with the Great Powers tussling over the collapsing Ottoman Empire and the island's Christians in rebellion, an outbreak of ethnic violence forces his family Hassanakis is a young Muslim boy of Turkish descent growing up on Crete during WWI. Fifteen generations of his family have lived on the island and until now he has never had any reason not to think he is a Cretan. But with the Great Powers tussling over the collapsing Ottoman Empire and the island's Christians in rebellion, an outbreak of ethnic violence forces his family to flee to the Cretan City of Chania. He begins to lay down roots and his snappy dress earns him the nickname of Hassan 'the mirror'. As WWI draws to a close and the Turkish War of Independence rages, he begins a heady romance with the elegant H�sniye. There are rumours that the Cretan Muslims will be sent to Turkey but Hassanakis can't believe he will be sent to a country whose language he barely knows and where he knows no-one. This powerful novel drawn from the diary of a refugee family evokes the beauty, complexity and trauma of Crete's past and weaves it into a moving tale of an ordinary man living through extraordinary times.

30 review for Children of War

  1. 4 out of 5

    Maria Bikaki

    "Εκείνος που καταπιέζεται μόνιμα, είτε Έλληνας είναι, είτε Τούρκος, είναι ο λαός, αγόρι μου. Αν δεν υπήρχαν αυτά τα τεχνάσματα αυτών που κυριαρχούν, με σκοπό να διατηρήσουν τις καρέκλες τους, εμείς, δηλαδή ο λαός, θα μπορούσαμε να συμβιώσουμε αγαπημένοι, είτε δίπλα δίπλα, είτε ανάμεικτοι." full review to come "Εκείνος που καταπιέζεται μόνιμα, είτε Έλληνας είναι, είτε Τούρκος, είναι ο λαός, αγόρι μου. Αν δεν υπήρχαν αυτά τα τεχνάσματα αυτών που κυριαρχούν, με σκοπό να διατηρήσουν τις καρέκλες τους, εμείς, δηλαδή ο λαός, θα μπορούσαμε να συμβιώσουμε αγαπημένοι, είτε δίπλα δίπλα, είτε ανάμεικτοι." full review to come

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ashwin

    The perils of any war is not only horrendous but changes the course of life and history, lacerating them in numerous ways for generations. When you are taking in the enormity of a major moment in history, it is easy to forget that behind the epic events lie a multiplicity of individual stories. This book portrays the exact sentiments on how war-laden displacement can influence the working of human life. Ahmet Yorulmaz’s “Children of War” in English with a translation by Paula Darwish, is the sto The perils of any war is not only horrendous but changes the course of life and history, lacerating them in numerous ways for generations. When you are taking in the enormity of a major moment in history, it is easy to forget that behind the epic events lie a multiplicity of individual stories. This book portrays the exact sentiments on how war-laden displacement can influence the working of human life. Ahmet Yorulmaz’s “Children of War” in English with a translation by Paula Darwish, is the story of Hassanakis, a young Muslim boy of Turkish descent growing up on Crete during WWI. 1919. The invasion of the Greek tropes. As Cretan Muslims were increasingly viewed as a threat to Greek unity, it resulted in their forced migration from Greece to Turkey. Thus, Hassanaki is forced to flee Crete, and he emigrates to Ayvalik, Turkey, a coastal city located right across the Island of Lesvos, in 1923. Against the backdrop of such a terrible wholesale movement of people, which upended countless decades of ownership and connection to the land, it is all too easy to find yourself swamped by the sheer enormity and horror of the events at hand. The story contained within this book captured one of the most overlooked aspects of the cruel war – the deliquescing of identity & nationhood, and the repercussions of the population exchange. Brutal and captivating, Yorulmaz is a talented writer, skilled in conveying a complex, long conflict succinctly while remaining even-handed in tallying the atrocities inflicted on the lives of people brandished by the war. It is through this propensity that the writer can humanise the statistics of the forced migration, 1.6 million displaced. The virtue of great political fiction is that even if people feel far removed from certain events, a great writer will bring to life the human stories that will gage the interest of the reader and encourage awareness. I, for one, found myself researching Greco-Turkish war after reading this novel to increase my understanding. Thank you Netgalley and Neem Tree Press for the advance copy, which was provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Smitha Murthy

    There was so much to like about this book. The Turkish-Greek conflict over Anatolia is not something I have come across much. The history of that region is so difficult to comprehend and I was curious to see if this book would help shed light on these dusty corners of my mind. Sadly, I am even more confused. This book could have been so important, but it kind of disintegrates. The story shifts here and then in hurried recollections from Hassanakis. Especially toward the end, I got irritated with There was so much to like about this book. The Turkish-Greek conflict over Anatolia is not something I have come across much. The history of that region is so difficult to comprehend and I was curious to see if this book would help shed light on these dusty corners of my mind. Sadly, I am even more confused. This book could have been so important, but it kind of disintegrates. The story shifts here and then in hurried recollections from Hassanakis. Especially toward the end, I got irritated with him - he chooses one woman over another in a very logical, “manly” fashion - one woman’s breasts were smaller than the other. And meanwhile, everything else of the ongoing conflict is left to the background while the breast measurements are going on. Does anyone know better books on the Turkisk-Greek population repatriation?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Calzean

    This is a short book that follows Kiri Hassan, a Muslim Turk from the island of Crete, who is originally forced with his family in 1897 from their village, his life in Chania and his departure in 1923 during the population swap of Greeks in Turkey with Turks from Crete and Macedonia. The events are interesting and not something I understood. However, the character of Hassan is quite wooden and the writing lacks depth. Events that could have been expanded are shallow, almost in the background as H This is a short book that follows Kiri Hassan, a Muslim Turk from the island of Crete, who is originally forced with his family in 1897 from their village, his life in Chania and his departure in 1923 during the population swap of Greeks in Turkey with Turks from Crete and Macedonia. The events are interesting and not something I understood. However, the character of Hassan is quite wooden and the writing lacks depth. Events that could have been expanded are shallow, almost in the background as Hassan finds work, education, women and some financial independence. A pity as the time period and location is ripe for a great historical novel.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Zeren

    Benim gibi Girit ve mübadele öyküleri okumakla ilgilenenlere tavsiye ederim. Hasanaki'nin başkent Hanya'ya mecburi göçünden önceki köy hayatını anlattığı bölümler benim için daha dikkate değerdi. Edebi olarak biraz zayıf bulmamdan ötürü kitabın hakkının üç olduğunu düşünüyorum. Benim gibi Girit ve mübadele öyküleri okumakla ilgilenenlere tavsiye ederim. Hasanaki'nin başkent Hanya'ya mecburi göçünden önceki köy hayatını anlattığı bölümler benim için daha dikkate değerdi. Edebi olarak biraz zayıf bulmamdan ötürü kitabın hakkının üç olduğunu düşünüyorum.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tahoora Hashmi

    This novel, is set in Crete(Greece) during the period from the late nineteenth century to the years following the First World War. It is set against a background of real historical events and is based on three notebooks left by a Cretan refugee who died in Ayvalık in Turkey in 1948. The Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 lead to the mass deportation of an estimated 1.8 million people. Most had little or no connection with the country they were sent to and many did not speak the language at all. A book wr This novel, is set in Crete(Greece) during the period from the late nineteenth century to the years following the First World War. It is set against a background of real historical events and is based on three notebooks left by a Cretan refugee who died in Ayvalık in Turkey in 1948. The Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 lead to the mass deportation of an estimated 1.8 million people. Most had little or no connection with the country they were sent to and many did not speak the language at all. A book written in first person format about a boy called Hassan who was born in a peaceful small village in Crete (a Greek island) in the times of the Ottoman Empire where the island later broke into a civil war. Another beautiful heart wrenching book that will often leave you in tears, it certainly had me bawling my eyes out. I loved the writing style of the author, they would first talk about some incident in the main protagonist's life and then later unwind the story of who the person they are talking about are and how they met them. Books like these are something we all should read atleast once in our lifetime. We all should be aware of the effects of controversial speeches and emotions of the privileged that more than often leaves the common folk's lives in shackles. Eventually it's them who suffer the most and this book does a phenomenal job at highlighting such factors. It's under these circumstances do we truly know where our morals lie, if our friends are truly ours or our love for power overpowers our human decency of respecting someone's life, or even, sparing it to say so. There were two things that took me by surprise, one of them actually disappointed me a lot and that was calling Palestine as Israel and the other was the lifestyle of the Cretan Turks who were mUsLiMs casually engaging themselves in activities that are strictly prohibited in Islam. I did not know what I expected but I surely was taken a back given how much the book revolved around those things at times. 3.7/5🌟

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    This is a sad and poignant tale, as well as a sometimes horrific one, about a period in history about which I knew very little – the enmity between Greek Christians and Turkish Muslims on the island of Crete. For generations the two communities lived beside each other amicably and peacefully. Then politics took over and the Turkish Muslims were persecuted and forced to flee back to their “homeland”, even though Crete had been that homeland for so many years. The novel focusses on young Hassanaki This is a sad and poignant tale, as well as a sometimes horrific one, about a period in history about which I knew very little – the enmity between Greek Christians and Turkish Muslims on the island of Crete. For generations the two communities lived beside each other amicably and peacefully. Then politics took over and the Turkish Muslims were persecuted and forced to flee back to their “homeland”, even though Crete had been that homeland for so many years. The novel focusses on young Hassanakis, a child when the book opens, and whom we follow through the trials and tribulations his family have to go through before they can reach safety. It’s quite a story, but I didn’t think the writing lived up to the subject. I never felt that I was inside the characters’ heads as we are told too much rather than shown and none of them came fully alive for me, not even Hassanakis himself, whose voice we hear. The book ended very abruptly, and I assume there is going to be a sequel but even so such a sudden ending leaves the reader a little disconcerted. All in all, an interesting novel but not a very literary one.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Carter

    This is a beautiful, haunting story, based on notebooks left by a Cretan refugee after the population exchange with Turkey. It is told in a slow and deliberate manner, building a picture of the cultures and politics that shaped one man's life. Hassanakis is a Muslim boy who is forced to first leave his village and then later his island, after his family has been there for generations. "So what if about fifteen generations of my family lived there? In the end, the Greeks cried 'Turks out!'" Childre This is a beautiful, haunting story, based on notebooks left by a Cretan refugee after the population exchange with Turkey. It is told in a slow and deliberate manner, building a picture of the cultures and politics that shaped one man's life. Hassanakis is a Muslim boy who is forced to first leave his village and then later his island, after his family has been there for generations. "So what if about fifteen generations of my family lived there? In the end, the Greeks cried 'Turks out!'" Children of War offers great insight to a time and place that is not that well known in the West. I felt the very weight of history, the sense of confusion and loss throughout this novel that I felt when visiting Kayaköy, a Turkish city abandoned as a result of that population exchange. Paula Darwish brings this important voice to life, and I am grateful to the publisher for this advance review copy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Flaka

    2.5 ☆

  10. 5 out of 5

    Haley Renee The Caffeinated Reader

    https://thecaffeinatedreader.com/2020... Yorulmaz has a wonderful and distinctive writing voice and solidly blends fact and fiction. He breathes life into words left by those marked by time and I love the use of the historical accounts that brings us this story. It’s not often that we see books of Crete’s history, so this was a breath of fresh air. This is definitely worth a read if you’re a fan of history or the story of a person’s journey. It’s not a long read but it is impactful and enlightening https://thecaffeinatedreader.com/2020... Yorulmaz has a wonderful and distinctive writing voice and solidly blends fact and fiction. He breathes life into words left by those marked by time and I love the use of the historical accounts that brings us this story. It’s not often that we see books of Crete’s history, so this was a breath of fresh air. This is definitely worth a read if you’re a fan of history or the story of a person’s journey. It’s not a long read but it is impactful and enlightening. Informational and with heart. Thanks so much to Anne and NeemTreePress for a copy of this in exchange for my honest review as part of the blog tour!

  11. 5 out of 5

    okyrhoe

    Θέλω να σχολιάσω τον έντονο συναισθηματισμό του αφηγητή - ευτυχώς που μας εξομολογεί και τα ιδιαίτερα προσωπικά της ζωής του, αυτές η σπαρταριστές λεπτομέριες για τις γυναίκες που γνωρίζει, για να ισορροπήσει την κατάσταση και να χαμογελάσουμε λίγο που και που. Ενδιαφέρουν έχουν για μένα οι αναφορές σε συγκεκριμένα σημεία των Χανίων και της Κωνσταντινούπολης, τα οποία γνωρίζω ήδη από πρώτο χέρι (όσα σώζονται ακόμα). Πράγματι ταξιδεύω πίσω στον χρόνο και βλέπω αυτά που αφηγείται, σαν να είναι δικέ Θέλω να σχολιάσω τον έντονο συναισθηματισμό του αφηγητή - ευτυχώς που μας εξομολογεί και τα ιδιαίτερα προσωπικά της ζωής του, αυτές η σπαρταριστές λεπτομέριες για τις γυναίκες που γνωρίζει, για να ισορροπήσει την κατάσταση και να χαμογελάσουμε λίγο που και που. Ενδιαφέρουν έχουν για μένα οι αναφορές σε συγκεκριμένα σημεία των Χανίων και της Κωνσταντινούπολης, τα οποία γνωρίζω ήδη από πρώτο χέρι (όσα σώζονται ακόμα). Πράγματι ταξιδεύω πίσω στον χρόνο και βλέπω αυτά που αφηγείται, σαν να είναι δικές μου εμπειρίες. Θα επανέλθω σε λίγο με περισσότερα στοιχεία για το Ταχτακάλε στην Κων/πολη, ένα κτίριο που υπάρχει ακόμα, ξεχασμένο & κρυμμένο κοντά στο Αιγυπτιακό παζάρι (Mısır Çarşısı), και που το ανακάλυψα τυχαία....Ενθουσιάστικα την ημέρα που το επισκέφθηκα, ακόμα περισσότερο που διαβάζω για αυτό τώρα στο "Τα παιδιά του πολέμου"!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Türkay

    Osmanlı'nın kaybeden olduğu Birinci Dünya Savaşının Girit'e yansımaları... Hüzünlü, dünün dostlarının hızla düşmana dönüş hikayelerinin anlatıldığı bir özyaşam öyküsü... Osmanlı'nın kaybeden olduğu Birinci Dünya Savaşının Girit'e yansımaları... Hüzünlü, dünün dostlarının hızla düşmana dönüş hikayelerinin anlatıldığı bir özyaşam öyküsü...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jule

    This novel sheds light on an historical issue that I was mostly unaware of before reading this: the fight for Crete between Turkey and Greece, and what that meant for the people there, torn and living between two cultures, languages, religions, opposing forces. It is said quite nicely here towards the end, when someone points out that all the treaties and wars and population exchanges are for the big guys on top, the leader and politicians, and none of them truly care about the little people act This novel sheds light on an historical issue that I was mostly unaware of before reading this: the fight for Crete between Turkey and Greece, and what that meant for the people there, torn and living between two cultures, languages, religions, opposing forces. It is said quite nicely here towards the end, when someone points out that all the treaties and wars and population exchanges are for the big guys on top, the leader and politicians, and none of them truly care about the little people actually living in these places, and what the big decisions mean for them. It was quite interesting to read about this Turkish Muslim first fleeing his village with his family, then living in a culturally mixed city, having to learn Greek, but also the Quran, working and loving Greek people, but not being fully accepted by them, and also looked down at for this by his own community. It was a multi-faceted issue. However, I found that it sadly cut off too short: right as the population exchange was happening and he was traveling to Turkey to live there, his "motherland" that he had never been to before, having to assimilate back into a purely Turkish community after having lived in the mixed world that is Crete, the book is over. That seemed like a weird choice. Also, in terms of narration, this is labeled as both historical fiction and memoir, though it leans a little more towards the non-fiction in my opinion. Not a lot of plot arcs and character development and the like - which is not bad, though maybe expectations need to be adjusted. ~ I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book and all opinions expressed above are my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Abdel Rahman Amin

    First of all, I want to thank NetGalley and Neemtrre press for providing this ARC. “If you decide to cause trouble instead of getting along with people and living in peace, then you end up getting a beating. It’s the poor wretched people who end up bearing the brunt of the mistakes made by their ancestors and those in power!” _Kiri Vladimiros_ This book was really shocking, tragic and so real in an irritating way. It is about the story of Kiri Hassan a Muslim Turk from the island of Crete ( now pa First of all, I want to thank NetGalley and Neemtrre press for providing this ARC. “If you decide to cause trouble instead of getting along with people and living in peace, then you end up getting a beating. It’s the poor wretched people who end up bearing the brunt of the mistakes made by their ancestors and those in power!” _Kiri Vladimiros_ This book was really shocking, tragic and so real in an irritating way. It is about the story of Kiri Hassan a Muslim Turk from the island of Crete ( now part of Greece) and the tragic departure of about 1.8 million people from their homeland and to what so-called "motherland" due to the treaty of lausanne 1923. In my opinion, this book is great. For the first time instead of seeing Muslims as terrorists, you will see them as victims. What I liked most was the writer's great descriptive way as you will feel that his words and phrases are graphic, the scenes are really vivid. My favourite character was the wise, big-hearted, great Kiri Vladimiros.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lamin

    I have recently read a few different books about the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey and even though this one is at least partially fictional, it was arguably my favorite one among them. It shows how individual interests of money grabbing warmongers and nationalist/religious fanatics can result in innocent families being harassed, tortured, massacred and eventually uprooted and deported from the only place they knew as home for generations. A very sad end to a very rich culture I have recently read a few different books about the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey and even though this one is at least partially fictional, it was arguably my favorite one among them. It shows how individual interests of money grabbing warmongers and nationalist/religious fanatics can result in innocent families being harassed, tortured, massacred and eventually uprooted and deported from the only place they knew as home for generations. A very sad end to a very rich culture all because some close-minded people are blaming the ordinary citizens for the so called crimes committed by their ancestors centuries ago. As one of the characters in the story says, "Certain people at the top are trying to make a name for themselves by setting us innocent people against each other. It's always the ordinary people who will suffer." Unfortunately it goes without saying that this sentence can be related to countless tragedies that have been reoccurring throughout the history of humankind.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dee Dee (Dee Reads for Food)

    Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing this e-copy in exchange for an honest review. This is a dense read which is to be expected as the topic it covers isn't one of rainbows and fluffy animals. There are moments of such pure, raw pain that make you feel so deeply for Hassan and his family. It's tense and scary at times but always, always gripping. It starts off very slowly and gives you a lot of information all at once, information that I was not at all familiar with, but I found my Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing this e-copy in exchange for an honest review. This is a dense read which is to be expected as the topic it covers isn't one of rainbows and fluffy animals. There are moments of such pure, raw pain that make you feel so deeply for Hassan and his family. It's tense and scary at times but always, always gripping. It starts off very slowly and gives you a lot of information all at once, information that I was not at all familiar with, but I found myself compelled by the idea of it. It highlights ethnic and religious stigmatization (the Greek Christians against the Turkish Muslims and vice versa) in a struggle to claim one's belonging. This isn't my next great love, but it will stand out in my memory for a significant amount of time.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lynsey

    Children of War embodies everything I love about good historical fiction - you learn about people’s everyday lives and also about the events which shaped them. There is so much about Crete and Greek / Turkish relations that I did not know about and I am now going to read more into this area. The author’s family was one of the misplaced Turks who left Crete and whilst writing this novel based it from the diary’s of a refugee. This gives the book the air of originality, believability and a true vo Children of War embodies everything I love about good historical fiction - you learn about people’s everyday lives and also about the events which shaped them. There is so much about Crete and Greek / Turkish relations that I did not know about and I am now going to read more into this area. The author’s family was one of the misplaced Turks who left Crete and whilst writing this novel based it from the diary’s of a refugee. This gives the book the air of originality, believability and a true voice of the time. Although the book deals with the murder and violence which occurs during this period, it does feel slightly removed from the readers experience. However, this is mainly due to the family’s propensity to err towards the values of peace and harmony with their Greek neighbours. It was refreshing to see these types of beliefs reflected in the novel and have them dealt with compassion and empathy. Especially in an era with so much military turmoil. I found the character of Hassan to be an engaging narrator who reflects the main themes of the book. He loves and will do anything for his family, is dependable and reliable, embraces peace and co-existing with the Greeks, and his love life was a perfect antidote to the violence in the book. I can’t imagine how it must feel to be made to leave your home just because you are different to others. That wrench must be the worst event in peoples lives. Too much of this is still happening in today’s world due to violence and ideas of ruling elites, people who don’t think about the affect on the common people. Children of War does address this but don’t expect a harrowing account of mistreatment and abuse, this is more a subtle telling of this story. It bases itself on everyday stories and how Hassan travels through his young life. It is quite simply beautiful.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Eloise Robbertze

    Children of War by Ahmet Yorulmaz is an interesting memoir of the forced evacuation of Kiri Hassanaki and his family (all Turkish muslims) from the island of Crete. Due to the Treaty of Lausanne, signed in 1923, it is estimated that 1.8 million people had to flee their homes for a country unknown to them. It’s a short novel covering themes of exclusion due to religion, refugees, multi-cultural friendships and love. Character development is quite shallow, but I think this was intentionally so as t Children of War by Ahmet Yorulmaz is an interesting memoir of the forced evacuation of Kiri Hassanaki and his family (all Turkish muslims) from the island of Crete. Due to the Treaty of Lausanne, signed in 1923, it is estimated that 1.8 million people had to flee their homes for a country unknown to them. It’s a short novel covering themes of exclusion due to religion, refugees, multi-cultural friendships and love. Character development is quite shallow, but I think this was intentionally so as the themes are more important than the individual characters. I enjoyed learning about this period in history and I did find it informative and interesting. #netgalley #childrenofwar #ahmetyorulmaz #booksgosocial

  19. 5 out of 5

    Neriman

    Children of War is one of the most important translated works released in 2020. Hassanaki's story encourages us to resist the politics of demonization that breeds polarization and fear---fear of difference and of change. Through all the marginalized characters whose voices it recovers, from the Black Cretan couple Mullah Mavruk and his wife Cemile to Hassanaki's lover Husniye who is of North African descent, Children of War reminds us to challenge normative assumptions about ethnicity, race and i Children of War is one of the most important translated works released in 2020. Hassanaki's story encourages us to resist the politics of demonization that breeds polarization and fear---fear of difference and of change. Through all the marginalized characters whose voices it recovers, from the Black Cretan couple Mullah Mavruk and his wife Cemile to Hassanaki's lover Husniye who is of North African descent, Children of War reminds us to challenge normative assumptions about ethnicity, race and identity. Full review: http://readingundertheolivetree.com/2...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rheanna

    Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing this e-copy in exchange for an honest review. This was a book about a subject that I didn't know anything about. This is a bit of an information dump on the Greek Christians and Turkish Muslims and the long sad history of it all. The story of Hassan and his family is one that is full of trials and tribulations relating to the themes of religion, refugees, belonging, and love. The themes seem more important than the quality of the characters. I u Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing this e-copy in exchange for an honest review. This was a book about a subject that I didn't know anything about. This is a bit of an information dump on the Greek Christians and Turkish Muslims and the long sad history of it all. The story of Hassan and his family is one that is full of trials and tribulations relating to the themes of religion, refugees, belonging, and love. The themes seem more important than the quality of the characters. I understand that this might be the intention, but it left me a bit wanting.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nuha

    Before I read "Children of War" by Ahmet Yorulmaz, I was not aware of the plight of Cretes, particularly Muslim Cretes in the constant struggle between Turkey and Greece. Half autobiographical, the book narrates the violence and instability of existence for a young Crete male as he grows up in a small town. What struck me most is the duality of national versus personal identity and how state systems use the two against each other. Because the man is Muslim, he is banned from being a Greek. A sen Before I read "Children of War" by Ahmet Yorulmaz, I was not aware of the plight of Cretes, particularly Muslim Cretes in the constant struggle between Turkey and Greece. Half autobiographical, the book narrates the violence and instability of existence for a young Crete male as he grows up in a small town. What struck me most is the duality of national versus personal identity and how state systems use the two against each other. Because the man is Muslim, he is banned from being a Greek. A sentimental read on a often not discussed topic!

  22. 5 out of 5

    indulge.your.shelf

    I wanted to really love this book. I found the premise to be so very interesting. The beginning was very fact heavy, but interesting. I had to keep re-reading the first chapter to understand what was going on. This novel has so much information to process. It was hard to connect to the characters. I'm proud that we have this novel about the events that take place. I know a lot of work went into the writing of this book. I wanted to really love this book. I found the premise to be so very interesting. The beginning was very fact heavy, but interesting. I had to keep re-reading the first chapter to understand what was going on. This novel has so much information to process. It was hard to connect to the characters. I'm proud that we have this novel about the events that take place. I know a lot of work went into the writing of this book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Tierney

    I don’t know if it was the writing or the translation, but this was difficult to read. It is fairly short, but I struggled through it. I found myself needing to read each sentence at least twice because it was rough reading to get through.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    A young man and his family are forced to leave Crete because of their ancestors and religion and relocate in Turkey.

  25. 5 out of 5

    CC Sanders

    Find my review in this video https://youtu.be/iji7KJRnVfA I loved the first sentence and it immediately drew me in. We are following a young Muslim boy of Turkish descent growing up on Crete during WWI - and he is going by a nickname that he does not know how he got it. Intriguing! I picked this book because I know very little about this part of history and I was intrigued to learn about it. I enjoy learning about history through personal stories and accounts, but I am not only here to read about Find my review in this video https://youtu.be/iji7KJRnVfA I loved the first sentence and it immediately drew me in. We are following a young Muslim boy of Turkish descent growing up on Crete during WWI - and he is going by a nickname that he does not know how he got it. Intriguing! I picked this book because I know very little about this part of history and I was intrigued to learn about it. I enjoy learning about history through personal stories and accounts, but I am not only here to read about a boy growing up. I do want to learn. Sadly this book left me wanting more in the latter part. There is a 2 page overview of important events in the beginning of the book and I felt like this gave me more about the history of this time and area than the whole rest of the book. Adding to that, the main character grew more and more unlikeable so that I had a really hard time to continue following him. Such a great setting, such a great premise, but sadly not fulfilled to the potential that I would have hoped for. I received a free copy of this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dadon

    Amazing.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kel

    When I picked up this book I wasn't sure what to expect, I was aware it had been translated from Turkish to English and had been drawn in by the blurb of a historical event I knew little about. The blurb indicates that although this a book of fiction it was written using a diary of a refugee family. The story is powerful and I have learnt so much about what happened in Crete during this period. When reading this, it drives home the suffering families experienced during the early 1900's and the im When I picked up this book I wasn't sure what to expect, I was aware it had been translated from Turkish to English and had been drawn in by the blurb of a historical event I knew little about. The blurb indicates that although this a book of fiction it was written using a diary of a refugee family. The story is powerful and I have learnt so much about what happened in Crete during this period. When reading this, it drives home the suffering families experienced during the early 1900's and the importance of stories about these periods in our history to ensure it is never forgotten. Whilst reading Children of War we follow Hassanaki from childhood and see the trials and loss the Muslim Cretans faced as the power changes hands and they are faced with life changing decisions and the fear that become a constant in their lives

  28. 5 out of 5

    Diane Dunn

    A well written account of an unfamiliar time in history. Crete, an large Greek island close to the Turkish mainland has been a place of refuge for Turkish migrants for many centuries, and for some, their homeland as they have never lived anywhere else. Cretans and Turks had lived alongside each other respecting each others customs and religious beliefs. We relive the ethnic cleansing of these migrants through a young Muslim boy Hassanakis, whose Turkish family have lived on Crete for fifteen gen A well written account of an unfamiliar time in history. Crete, an large Greek island close to the Turkish mainland has been a place of refuge for Turkish migrants for many centuries, and for some, their homeland as they have never lived anywhere else. Cretans and Turks had lived alongside each other respecting each others customs and religious beliefs. We relive the ethnic cleansing of these migrants through a young Muslim boy Hassanakis, whose Turkish family have lived on Crete for fifteen generations. We join them in the aftermath of WW1 when powerful countries are deciding the future of Greece and the fading Ottoman empire, the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 renegotiated the borders of the Turkish Republic. They are continually on the move to escape harm yet meet friendly Greeks and Turks who support them along their journey. Hassanakis forms a bond with a Greek employer, falls in love and creates a life for himself despite the circumstances. A interesting read. Thanks to Netgalley, the author and Neem Tree Press publishers for an ARC in return for an honest review

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michail Drakomathioulakis

    Είνε δύσκολο, καμιά φορά σκληρό, ακόμα και προσβλητικό, ν' ακούς την ιστορία όπως την αφηγείται ο "άλλος", ο "αντίπαλος", ο "εχθρός". Ακόμα περισσότερο όταν δεν την ακούς, μα την διαβάζης, που δεν έχει παρανοήσεις, μα το κείμενο είν' εκεί, αδυσώπητο, να σου υπενθυμίση ότι αυτό εννοεί ο συγγραφέας, όχι κάτι άλλο, πως δεν διάβασες στραβά: "να, ξαναδιάβασέ το, αυτό πιστεύω 'γω, κι άμα σ' αρέσει"! Ένα απόσπασμα, όμως, το κρατώ μες στην καρδιά μου κι είθε κάποτε να γίνη κατανοητό απ' όλους τους λαούς, Είνε δύσκολο, καμιά φορά σκληρό, ακόμα και προσβλητικό, ν' ακούς την ιστορία όπως την αφηγείται ο "άλλος", ο "αντίπαλος", ο "εχθρός". Ακόμα περισσότερο όταν δεν την ακούς, μα την διαβάζης, που δεν έχει παρανοήσεις, μα το κείμενο είν' εκεί, αδυσώπητο, να σου υπενθυμίση ότι αυτό εννοεί ο συγγραφέας, όχι κάτι άλλο, πως δεν διάβασες στραβά: "να, ξαναδιάβασέ το, αυτό πιστεύω 'γω, κι άμα σ' αρέσει"! Ένα απόσπασμα, όμως, το κρατώ μες στην καρδιά μου κι είθε κάποτε να γίνη κατανοητό απ' όλους τους λαούς, για να πάψουμε να περηφανευόμαστε για τα κατορθώματα της μιας ή της άλλης φυλής και να κάτσουμε να ντουχιουτίσουμε, όπως θα λέγαμε στην Κρήτη, να βαθυστοχαστούμε, όπως θα λέγαμε σε κοινά Ελληνικά, τα επιτεύγματά μας ως είδος, ως ανθρωπότητα, μα και την σμικρότητά μας, ως πρόσωπα κι ως ανθρωπότητα, μπροστά στην φύση, μα και στο θείο: "Εκείνος που καταπιέζεται μόνιμα, είτε Έλληνας είναι, είτε Τούρκος, είναι ο λαός, αγόρι μου. Αν δεν υπήρχαν αυτά τα τεχνάσματα αυτών που κυριαρχούν, με σκοπό να διατηρήσουν τις καρέκλες τους, εμείς, δηλαδή ο λαός, θα μπορούσαμε να συμβιώσουμε αγαπημένοι, είτε δίπλα δίπλα, είτε ανάμεικτοι." (σελ. 139).

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gem ~ Bee

    Review to follow on blog tour

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