Book Review: "Safe Harbor" A Novel


Healthcare Finance, Tax & Law Weekly
July 22, 2009

Recently, President Barack Obama was in Turkey and talked about the
issues of Turkey blockading Armenia and how Azerbaijan was still
at war with Armenia, a country that continues to exist in spite of
those not wanting it that way. This presidential visit offered hope to
Leonard Howard and David Deranian, authors of "Safe Harbor" (published
by iUniverse). The authors believe that for far too long the world
has forgotten about Armenia and, more importantly, its people. They
decided to write about it in novel form (see also iUniverse).

There are a number of non-fictional accounts written about the Armenian
Genocide, but "Safe Harbor" chronicles the Armenian experience by
putting a face on the harsh and horrid reality. The story depicts one
man’s journey from historical western Armenia, the site of the Armenian
Genocide in 1915, to Fresno, California, a place for survivors of the
genocide to reclaim their lives and back to eastern Turkey to find a
lost sister in 1944, to Karabakh, historically Armenia, and a place
of contention with the Azeri Turks in 2008.

The authors’ decision to write "Safe Harbor" was to let people know
that Armenia survived, in spite of the fact that in the 20th century
the Armenians experienced the first genocide of the 20th century
where they were meant for extinction. The Nazis learned their trade
from helping the Turks in this nightmare, one that orphaned author
David Deranian’s grandfather. The novel records a tragic history of
a people who were not meant to survive the evil done to them. It is
also a universal story that appeals to the basic human question of
being able to find meaning from tragedy. Anyone interested in history,
the Middle East, espionage, human rights and an adventurous story
that gives a voice to a painful past will want to read this novel.