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Rise the Euphrates

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  158 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Intelligent and compassionate, this brilliant debut novel is at once unique and universal (Amy Tan). After witnessing the slaughter of her family and many of her people, a young Armenian woman emigrates to America, where she inadvertently infuses her only daughter with a crippling legacy of anger, shame, and a survivor's guilt.
Hardcover, 370 pages
Published March 29th 1994 by Random House
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Apr 08, 2009 Sue rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-history
Excellent story: historically informative, although it's told from a modern day perspective; well-developed characters; excellent pace!

Had I not read this book, the Turkish massacre of the Armenians in 1915 would have been just another phrase passing by my eyes in various things I read. Now, it will never be that again. I will stop and mourn for those who died and those who lost families, just as I mourn for many with tragic, unexplainable, unacceptable losses.

In addition to the greater depth o
Jane Lancellotti
Feb 15, 2011 Jane Lancellotti rated it it was amazing
I read a lot, and this is one of my favorite novels. It is one of the great pleasures of life -- a book with the kind of depth that catches your attention and won't let go. What blew me away were Edgarian's artful turns from the story of genocide to the story of a mother and daughter whose love is suffused with the shame of all that has come before. I wasn't looking for a history lesson, and Rise the Euphrates transcends historical events into a timeless rendering of the ways in which the human ...more
Aug 29, 2011 Sara rated it really liked it
I lived for a while in Turkey, and am very aware of how the Turks view the Armenian "situation" as something that never happened. I have heard it from both sides, and it's hard to see how thinking people can ignore something that is so clearly a part of history. The story was a tad self-absorbed, but an interesting exploration of guilt passed from one generation to the next. Like any holocaust story, there is the insistence that we not forget -- and we shouldn't -- but neither should we be requi ...more
Karen Merrifield
Apr 11, 2011 Karen Merrifield rated it really liked it
Good book about Armenian genocide which is not written about as much as the Holocaust, to my awareness. I liked this book better than Edgarian's newest book because in this one the characters were really fleshed it---felt like I knew them.
Dec 24, 2013 Alesa rated it it was ok
I was eager to read this book, because it was (kind of) about the Armenian genocide. I hoped it would be as substantial as The Sandcastle Girls and The Gendarme, both of which addressed a similar topic, but were also very strong novels as literature, which excellent character development, important human insights, and good plotting to boot.

Rise the Euphrates, however, was a disappointment. Early on, when the author used the verb "lurched" twice in just three pages, I decided to give her a break
Jan 02, 2015 Pat rated it it was amazing
Ethnic coming of age story. Main character is Seta.
First half sounded exactly like Meriden. Takes place in Memorial, Ct.
Grandmother escapes Turkish massacre of Armenians and comes to U.S.
Marries. Her husband works in ball bearing factory.
Relationship between women/mother & child intense.
Really takes place in Newington.
Impressive, fascinating.
Aug 30, 2011 Monique rated it liked it
"Rise the Euphrates" was a hard book to read. Genocide is a difficult subject and the grandmother in the story was a frustrating character. I liked the middle and end of the book (told from the daughter and granddaughter's perspectives) much more than the first part which was told by the grandmother. I think Carol Edgarian is an excellent author and she does a very good job with a tough subject: How do subsequent generations deal with the horrific effects of genocide (in this case the Turks murd ...more
Mar 28, 2015 Robyn rated it liked it
I knew very little about the massacre of Armenians by the Turks, the central theme in this book. So I greatly appreciated getting an in-depth perspective on this historical event.

My favorite part of the book was the focus on growing up in the 1970's and the pressure to fit in. I particularly loved the focus on how we expect mothers to be perfect, but they are not. They are just people too.

I think the book struggled to integrate the two themes - the history of the Armenians and the coming-of-age
Mar 02, 2011 Lainie rated it really liked it
I really loved this book. There were aspects that mirrored my own and my sisters' 1960s third-generation Armenian-American suburban lives so closely I wondered if Edgarian had been hiding in the closet of my (shared) bedroom. I own two copies of this in hardbound: one to lend out and one to cherish.

I drove 2 hours to see/hear Edgarian read from the novel at a chain bookstore in Portland, OR. She seemed a little distant from the roomful of Armenians but then a book tour can really wipe you out.

Lauri Leone
Sep 06, 2014 Lauri Leone rated it it was amazing
My favorite book of all time.
May 14, 2011 Kathy rated it really liked it
This was a really interesting and intriguing book. I must admit, though, that I liked it much more at the beginning and middle than I did at the end. Not a massive surprise or anything, I just didn't like where the author took it a bit more esoteric at the end. I loved the characters and the Armenian culture portrayed in the book. Edgarian has a strong writing style and a great story.
Oct 27, 2012 Beth rated it really liked it
From my Summer Reading List blog post (May, 2012)
Carol Edgarian – Rise the Euphrates: Three generations of women descended from a survivor of the 1915 Turkish massacre of Armenians. A perfect capsule of immigrant experience and a beautiful treatment of questions of family, identity, and the way history lives within us.
Scott Burton
Jan 22, 2015 Scott Burton rated it liked it
Well written. Insightful. Good character development. Tells the story of how the Armenian Genocide of the early 1900's twisted those who survived in ways that impacted their children and their children's children. Universally dark. There is not a lite happy moment in the entire book. But I am glad I read it.
Jul 19, 2010 Karen rated it liked it
Theme: the connections and threads that bond the generations, relationships among mothers, daughters, and grandmothers. The characters are of Armenian descent and they are haunted by a past of loss, death and destruction.
Apr 08, 2007 samantha rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Armenians, lovers of the ethnic culture clash saga
A beautiful book. Embraces the generational gap that is so unyielding in diaspora communities. Seta Loon is divided and whole; she is and she isn't. Full of enough hybridity to keep any reader satisfied.
Jessica Reidy
Sep 24, 2009 Jessica Reidy rated it really liked it
Powerful and disturbing. A subject that is unfortunately still glazed over.
Pavarti Tyler
May 02, 2010 Pavarti Tyler rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Beautiful Book about second generation American-Armenians.
Apr 26, 2007 Bree marked it as to-read
This is on the after-honors queue too.
Jul 18, 2008 April marked it as to-read
Sep 06, 2014 Christine rated it it was amazing
Angela is currently reading it
Apr 24, 2016
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Linda Clark marked it as to-read
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Anne Putnam marked it as to-read
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Emil Tatevosian rated it really liked it
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John Ackerman
John Ackerman rated it it was amazing
Feb 18, 2016
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Jan Kelly rated it liked it
Feb 10, 2016
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Carol Edgarian is an author, editor, and publisher. Her novels include Three Stages of Amazement (Scribner, March 2011) and the best-selling Rise the Euphrates, hailed by the Washington Post as "a book whose generosity of spirit, intelligence, humanity, and finally ambition are what literature ought to be and rarely is today." Her articles and essays have appeared in many national magazines, and s ...more
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