Thea Halo Not Even My Name

Thea Halo Not Even My Name

              Rated #194 in Books
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This is the summary as found on Amazon: The harrowing story of the slaughter of two million Pontic Greeks and Armenians in Turkey after WWI comes to vivid life in Sano Halo's memoir, as told by her daughter Thea. The story begins with the two women's journey to Turkey in search of Sano's native village in the Pontic Mountains, a remote region south of the Black Sea that had been settled by Greeks more than 2,000 years ago. In 1920, at the age of 10, Sano was the oldest of five children. She adored her beautiful mother and was favored by her grandfather, a blacksmith who was revered in their community. She felt secure in the closeness of her family, the beauty of farm life, the rituals of church and school. Ominous rumors of the persecution of Greeks by the Turkish military became a nightmarish reality when her father was conscripted. He escaped, but several months later everyone in her village was forced to leave their homes with scarcely a day's notice. The "emigration" was a death march, in which three of Sano's sisters perished. Not able to provide food for the family, Sano's parents left her with a surrogate family who treated her harshly. At the age of 15, Sano was sold into marriage to an Assyrian, three times her age, who had returned from America to find a wife. Despite the early tragedies of her young life, Sano's courage and determination to survive prevailed as she and her husband successfully raised 10 children. Her daughter has written an eloquent and powerful account of this tragic chapter of Turkish history. This was an incredible story and one that has stayed with me for years. I was truly amazed how one woman could be so forgiving and have such a good heart in spite of the tragedies she had endured. To have such grace is something I could only wish to have. Women like Sano are true heroes. She surely taught me what it is like to have a truly caring heart. When those little things in life irritate me, I try to remember this woman's life and it reminds me to count my blessings.