From the Publisher:
What would you do if the love of your life, and all your memories, were lost—only to reappear, but with such shocking revelations that you wish you had never remembered…
A haunting, deeply moving novel-an old man comes face-to-face with his past and sets out to find the love of his life and beg her forgiveness.
To those around him, Emmet Conn is a ninety-two-year-old man on the verge of senility. But what becomes frighteningly clear to Emmet is that the sudden, realistic dreams he is having are memories of events he, and many others, have denied or purposely forgotten. The Gendarme is a unique love story that explores the power of memory- and the ability of people, individually and collectively, to forget. Depicting how love can transcend nationalities and politics, how racism creates divisions where none truly exist, and how the human spirit fights to survive even in the face of hopelessness, this is a transcendent novel.
A deeply dark and disturbing book, The Gendarme by Mark T. Mustian takes the reader back to the Armenian Genocide through the mind of 92-year-old Emmett Conn who was diagnosed with a brain tumor and begins to recall flashes of memory of another life. Previously Emmett Conn had no memories of his life before he was 20, until now as these flashbacks of memories become more cohesive and he recalls with vivid and raw detail his duties as a 17-year-old Gendarme in Turkey. His name then was Ahmet Khan and he begins to recall the roll he played in the Armenian Genocide. Mustian takes the reader through a stark, bleak, and dark look at a dreadful time in history and the resilience of life, endurance and love transcending such horrific circumstances. Mustian clearly and vividly portrays this dark time in history but does not leave the reader feeling hopeless, as Mustian interweaves WWI with the present and shows how love triumphs adversity. I applaud Mustian for bringing to life a time many have never even heard about, a dreadful time in history that to this day is often ignored or overlooked. Deeply dark, haunting, and brilliantly written, I recommend The Gendarme without reservation to any reader and to book discussion groups. Mustian is an author to keep an eye on.
Mark T. Mustian is an author, attorney, and city commissioner. He lives with his wife and three children in Tallahassee, Florida.
I received a complimentary copy of The Gendarme by Mark T. Mustian from Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam to review. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.