Bread Crumb: A Wonderful Book That Tells An Immigrant Story That Will Reach Your Heart and Tug At Your Soul
A book review by Basil Douros
Published by Kristos L.L.C. ISBN # 0972388 7 3
Available through Bookmasters Distribution Center 1-800-247-6553
425 pp $19.95
The life and adventures of Tony Christ as told in the book Bread Crumb is a book that is written without the flourishes and polished words that make you question the authenticity of the memoir author. The flow of words created emotions and forced me to look through the author’s eyes to understand the agony and heartache in leaving family and loved ones behind in a hostile and dangerous environment. The author tells the story of the massacre and oppression that the Christian Greeks endured beginning in the eleventh century and peaking but not ending in the early nineteen-hundreds under Turkish rule and culminating in 1922 when three hundred thousand Christians were slaughtered in Smyrna.. The story of the holocaust is told time and time again to emphasize the emptiness and the hopelessness that the immigrant felt and what drove him to succeed in America because “Failure was not an option.”
The Preface was written by a boy hood friend from the same village who went on to become the Archbishop of the Americas, Archbishop Iakovas who vouches for the authenticity of the story and describes the events that caused the world to look the other way while the destruction of a thousand year old culture and the murder of innocents took place. The quote at the end of the Preface is one which reminds us that by being vigilant and brave we can help to avoid a recurrence of these tragic events. “Please remember you are all guardians of your beliefs and your human rights”
My eyes filled with tears forcing me to stop reading many times as I read on and found an association with many characters. They were so real. I identified my own father, then my beloved uncles and even got a glimpse of myself as I maneuvered through the early years as an immigrant’s son. Even though only a few years separate me from the main character, he came from a different world that I can now begin to understand after reading his book. The author readily identifies that he was not perfect and in subtle ways admits to harboring anger at a family member for far too many years. He explains how difficult it was when he had to adjust for changing social values, and wonders if his devotion to hard work and his Greek immigrant need to succeed were harmful to his family. The family dinners and the love that was so very much a part of the immigrants life, the respect for each other and the submission to the Orthodox Church brought a flood of memories and more tears as I remembered. Mr. Christ’s story will inspire me to continue to attempt to maintain those same values for me and my family as we attempt to find our way through all the problems and anxieties in today’s world.
There are many memorable quotes that best describe the philosophy and the very nature of the immigrants of that era. I can hear my father as he shook his finger at me saying “No matter how high you rise in life, never lose your humility.”
I urge you to read the book It is a wonderful book that was written from the heart about the people who came to America in answer to the call for “The tired and the poor that make up the huddled masses” and yet contributed so much to this country. I only wish I had written the book.
“Carved in Stone”, the Greek Heritage