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Three Apples Fell from the Sky

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  3,529 ratings  ·  484 reviews
An unforgettable story of friendship and feuds in a remote Armenian mountain village

In an isolated village high in the Armenian mountains, a close-knit community bickers, gossips and laughs. Their only connection to the outside world is an ancient telegraph wire and a perilous mountain road that even goats struggle to navigate.

As they go about their daily lives – harvest
ebook, 256 pages
Published March 5th 2020 by Oneworld Publications (first published March 16th 2015)
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Alex The story of the village spans most of the 20th century, as it traces lives of several generations.
Maran is a fictional place, just like Macondo in O…more
The story of the village spans most of the 20th century, as it traces lives of several generations.
Maran is a fictional place, just like Macondo in One Hundred Years of Solitude. Being fictional most of the events in the book have some real background though.
When the portrait of a relative is hidden in the attic, this is a hint to the beginning of the Soviet era. Bolsheviks created Soviet republic of Armenia in 1922.
Huge earthquake might be referencing the Spitak earthquake of 1988, that took the lives of nearly 50.000 people in Armenia.
War in the book is most likely first Nagorno-Karabakh conflict of 1988–1994(less)

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Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Anatolia Sevoyants, fifty-eight years old, lived in Maran, an isolated Armenian village. Convinced she had a fatal illness, she pulled her "grave clothes out of the wardrobe,...opens windows so her soul...could free itself and dart heaven bound...". However, she easily fell asleep then "soaked up the morning sun with her whole being".

Life in Maran had not been easy for Anatolia. She was married for eighteen unhappy years to a man who was callous and indifferent. Reading was her only outlet. Havi
Three Apples Fell From the Sky is a charming story of an isolated community in the Armenian mountains. Over the decades, the village of Maran has been touched by war, pestilence, famine, and has dwindled to a few dozen, mostly elderly residents. These endearing characters emerge in a series of folktale or fable-like stories.

At first I did think this was going to be connected short stories, but it gradually converges around one or two main players, in an Olive Kitteridge sort of way. There a
Diane Barnes
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I came to read this wonderful book in a very haphazard way. I had seen Andy's review praising it, added it to my tbr, then a few days later saw it on sale for Kindle - $1.99, how could I resist? It sat for a while, I needed something different, I read the first paragraph....then fell into the magical tale of an isolated village in Armenia and the courageous and resilient people living there.
Maran had been a bustling village of two or three thousand inhabitants. Before the earthquake and resultin

And three apples fell from heaven:
One for the storyteller,
One for the listener,
And one for the eavesdropper.

This old Armenian saying provides the structure for this mostly quiet, gentle story of family, friendship, tradition, endings and beginnings. Originally published in the Russian language in 2015, it has now been flawlessly translated into English by Lisa C Hayden.

Anatolia is one of the youngest residents of Maran, a remote, isolated village on the slopes of the Armenian mountain, Manis
Back when I was in elementary school, we had a wood stove in our kitchen.

Every morning I would wake up and ask my sleepy grandma to fill the stove with wood and start the fire.
Then it was time for me to cook something tasty on it.
I would slice the potatoes, arrange them directly on the stove, put on some salt, and wait for it to be cooked. I would put the full potatoes in the ashes after the fire.
I would put a slice of bread, let it cook, turn it over, put some butter on the cooked side, and le
Andy Weston
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It’s almost mid-May and there’s no way I could have expected that amongst the best novels of the year so far would be from Belarus (The Slaughterman’s Daughter) and Armenia.

In the remote village of Maran, high in the Armenian mountains in the 1920s, Anatolia Sevoyants lays down 'to breathe her last'; at 58 she has already exceded life expectancy of the day. She has had a tough life, lived through a powerful earthquake, the famine of the winter of 1918-19 which took more than half of the village,
Anatolia is 58 and the youngest resident living in a remote Armenian mountain village. The village population has dwindled after war, famine and a mudslide.
The book is in three sections each telling a persons story from a different perspective but all stories are related - its a small village so everybody and everything is related somehow.
The stories are at times like a fable, a bit of humour, a lot of sadness and a happy ending. What else do you need?
Stephanie Jane
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-asia
See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits

Three Apples Fell From The Sky is an utterly charming novel. A deserving prize winner in its original Russian, I was delighted to spot this book on NetGalley sympathetically translated into English by Lisa Hayden. Narine Abgaryan's portrait of the slow decline of an isolated mountain village should by rights be something of a depressing read. Maran loses its population to war, to famine, and to a horrendous mudslide that sweeps away half the
Abbie | ab_reads
3.75 stars

(#gifted @oneworldpublications) If you’re looking for a charming, translated summer read then I have the book for you! Three Apples Fell From the Sky is such a quaint little read, set in a remote village in the Armenian mountains. Even though the book is set across several years, including brutal winters, the charm of it just gave me summer vibes, and I felt just very 😌 while reading it!
Told in the style of a fable or fairytale, and beautifully translated from Russian by Lisa C Hayden
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Back in February, I joined the Asymptote Book Club, with the intention of trying out the three month option, then moving on to the yearly plan. In the long run I abandoned this idea because of costs (but I’m not adverse to subscribing for the 3 month option once a year) . Three Apples Fell From the Sky is one of the three books I received and it’s a good start.

Sometimes there’s some sort of strange synchronicity with my reading habits. After finishing a collection of interlinked short stories, I
Dawn Michelle
What a gorgeous, amazing book. Wow.
I had no idea what to expect when I started this and as I read and read, I just was continually blown away by the lyricism of the writing, the beauty [and sadness] of the story, the resilience of the people in the book and just how they continue to survive and thrive in the midst of some of the most horrific circumstances ever and by the beauty that they find over and over again in the midst and because of adversity. And the love that is shown, but rarely spok
And three apples fell from heaven:
One for the storyteller,
One for the listener,
And one for the eavesdropper

This old Armenian saying opens Three Apples Fell from the Sky. Originally published in Russian in 2015, this novel by Moscow-based Narine Abgaryan is now being issued by Oneworld Publications in a flowing and idiomatic English translation by Lisa C. Hayden. And what a delightful book it turns out to be.

The novel is set in Maran, a small, isolated village in the Armenian mountains, where tim
How often do you get to read an Armenian translation? Almost never. There's special satisfaction when you do, and when it turns out to be a charming, sweet tale such as this one.

Three Apples Fell From the Sky takes you on a gentle walk through a remote village tucked into the Manish-Kar mountainside, touching upon the lives of many of the resident villagers. Village superstitions and traditions intermingle perfectly with magical realism and descriptions of daily life to give us a broad picture o
H.A. Leuschel
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful and also informative portrait of life in a community of an Armenian mountain village. There is much to take away from reading about the hardships that the character go through, the bonds they rely on to survive harsh times, natural disasters as well as political upheaval. The writing captures the way of life in captivating images and I grew fond of many characters. Well worth the read!
M - The long hot spell
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Author, Narine Abgaryan, gave me plenty to enjoy in this fable detailing the difficulties facing Maran, a small mountain village in Armenia. Much of the book details the lives and history of the townspeople with a focus in particular on several of their stories. Coming to part two I thought it might be a book of three shorter stories. I guess it was, yet the stories were linked by setting, by surrounding people.

I loved hearing about the food, the houses, the work and chores, the gardening, the p
I adored this book! The trials and tribulations of the superstitious delightful people in this remote mountainous Armenian village develop into a charming tale. Beautifully written and translated from the Russian.
This satisfied a number of my reading goals to read about areas of world that I know little about and to read more translations from other languages of books by women authors.
This is the second Oneworld Publication that I've read with those aims in mind and I'll be really keeping an e
Smitha Murthy
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was such a sweet, whimsical read that drew me into a little village in Armenia. I have never been to Armenia, but this book took me there - from the fresh bryndza cheese to the lavash and the lovable old people of Maran.

It takes a while to get into the book with its multiple points of view. Yet, it flows smoothly after a while. The story is a blend of magic realism and old-fashioned goodness, friendship, and love. It traces the lives of a bunch of villagers and the twists and turns their l

Three Apples Fell from the Sky

A quiet song of a novel. A novel that opens and lingers. The story is one of a remote Armenia village deep in the mountains. This is a visit to that village and the chance to meet all the people there, see them live everyday, experience their trials and tribulations and get to know them.

Anatolia for example is 58 and is convinced she’s terminally ill. Life has not been easy for her as she’s spent so long in a very unhappy marriage. The only pleasure she gets from l
Victor Sonkin
A bit of magical realism in Nagorno-Karabakh (or something like it; the imprecision of Maran's placement has been annoying me since the first pages) without an actual plot, but at least telling the story of some very nice people. Also very well written. ...more
Jeannette Nikolova
Also available on the WondrousBooks blog.

Around the World: Armenia

Ah... how to put this into words.

I've sometimes criticized books the sole purpose of which is to bring you nostalgia of times past, of one's youth...or one's childhood. I guess what separates this book from those is that I don't think it tries to achieve that. It just does.

I didn't like this book because it's that profound or that ingenious. Nor did I like it because it's written in a masterfully convoluted way. Lastly, I did
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superstitions and folk tales from a remote rural mountain village in Armenia are weaved into a beautiful tapestry of storytelling.

It feels like the tales are an amalgamation of centuries worth of unique adages. The story jumps from one character to their relative to their neighbour etc and back to the main character several times over. The date of the stories is unclear however it carries a certain timelessness with it.

The stories were so sweet and quirky. There are stories about the one househo
Alex Lockwood
May 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
A whole bunch of boring stories linked together with some very poor writing that needs a good editing. The ending is saccharine, trite and has this book ending up in the bin. I don’t say this lightly, as an author I know what an effort it is to write. But my goodness this book is a terrible self indulgent waffle. The author has no idea how to write a drama or use dramatic structure. There is no plot. It is one of the most boring books I’ve ever read. I gave up and had to have the ending read to ...more
Feb 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rwc-2021
Special stories woven together - it was like this book was a rich dessert with a flaky crust eaten in the sunshine. That’s the only way I can describe it that makes sense to me. I desperately want to visit Armenia now.
If I could, I'd give it more than 5 stars.
I got the book from the library yesterday, read the first sentence and was lost in the story. It was sad, magical, and at the same time so hopeful. Amazing, amazing book.
Hayk Toroyan
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you take 100 Years of Solitude, take out some mysticism out of it, adapt it to the Armenian village in Tavush region and sprinkle it with some surnames origin stories you will get this book...
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: translated
Anatolia has decided that she is dying, so she lays out her funeral clothes, completes her household chores, and lies down to wait. Spoiler alert: she doesn't die. She becomes the target of her matchmaking neighbors.

Anatolia is one of the characters in Maran, an Armenian mountain village that is so hard to get to that the mailman has to use a donkey-drawn cart. The village itself becomes a character in this fable, with its aging villagers and abandoned homes that still have the character of the
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is about an Armenian village in the mountains. The people speak their own language or dialect of Armenian. It is truly a wonderful experience to read. Interestingly enough, the people are not focused on religion or even families. They are just living. They have survived the war, earthquakes and other disasters, and because of a terrible attack on the crops by insects, they survive a famine too. A woman is shown struggling with women’s sicknesses that we never hear about in books. Some ...more
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
A quiet and strange book. I'm not entirely certain what I think about it. I'm definitely glad I read it, but I couldn't begin to tell you what it's about without somehow trivializing it. I experienced this novel as an immersion into the life of the small, remote Armenian village of Maran. I have a sense that I've come to know this hamlet and its inhabitants intimately, as though we and our families had been neighbors for decades. I leave it with a sense of nostalgic hopefulness.

I enjoyed it. It
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely lovely story of the strength., struggles, joys, and beauty of life in a small village. The characters are engaging and the way their tales interweave is authentic to any small community experience.

The movement around in time and the number of characters, along with a few elements of cultural unfamiliarity weaken the read ever so slightly; however, the reward far outweighs these minor issues. We can only hope that more of Abgaryan’s works will become available to readers of English
Pallavi Bichu
Jul 27, 2020 rated it liked it
A simple book of stories about the lives of the elderly residents of tiny Armenian village called Maran, Three Apples fell from the Sky is a delightful book to be savored slowly. The author and translator succeed in bringing the flavor of impoverished, but still resilient, village life to the reader, evoking nostalgia for a world so foreign it almost seems familiar. Slightly on the longer side and peppered with long winding descriptions of houses, animals, and scenery, this book isn’t for everyo ...more
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Narine Yuryevna Abgaryan is a Russian writer of Armenian origin, a blogger. Graduated from Yerevan State Linguistic University V. Ya. Bryusova, since 1993 lives in Moscow. She became known after the publication of the autobiographical book "Manyunya" (2010). With this book, she became a laureate of the Russian National Literary Prize "Manuscript of the Year" in the nomination "Language". Entered t ...more

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