The thing that enthralled me about this book was the sensation that the author was transporting you to his world. You could see, hear, taste, smell, and feel the experiences of his characters. This is a story of love and humanity, and of war and despicable cruelty. It takes place in a remote Turkish village, before and during World War I, that is a microcosm for all of Turkey. Muslims, Greek Christians, Armenians, and other ethnic groups coexist and people fall in love. Then the Armenians are forcibly removed, as are the Greeks several years later. Some parts of the book dealing with straight historical events (the rise of President Ataturk and the fall of the Ottoman Empire) are somewhat dry, but they are worth working through so you can experience the vivid stories of the villagers.