In Lenore Hughes' creative memoir novel, Cups of Fortune, memorable stories occur three times: once as foretold in empty cups of bracingly strong Armenian coffee, once as they occur, and again as they are retold.
The resourceful American-Armenian heroine, Azad, grows up and comes of age in an atmosphere thick with humor, superstition, envy, and Middle-Eastern style revenge in the loving arms of the colorful members of her immigrant family in Los Angeles in this old-world meets new-world American tale.
Two stories from this novel have been previously published: "I See Only Good Things," by March Street Press in the summer 2005 periodical, Parting Gifts; and "Curly," published in the Armenian Literary periodical, Ararat Magazine.
Comical and poignant brilliance
By Maven on April 24, 2012
Lenore Tolegian Hughes' tale of the coming of age of an Armenian-American girl in 1950's Los Angeles is a brilliant combination of rich elements united with taste, wit, and vitality. It involves a focused look at immigrant life from the point of view of a dark-haired child who wants nothing more than to be completely "American"--and blonde; a haunting evocation of old-world faith in the meaningfulness of mysterious tradition; a mouth-watering journey through the rich emotional and culinary landscape of an Armenian kitchen; a deeply touching reminder of the effects of the Armenian genocide that avoids stepping into guilt trips or politics; and a hilarious retelling of the witty deceptions, family feuds, and high jinks of a generation of immigrants happy to be alive in a free country despite the burden of history on their souls. In the grounds that cling to the bottoms of overturned cups of thick Armenian coffee, Azad's Armenian grandmother reads her fortune, for better or worse, and the reader will be hard pressed not to believe in the prescience of the forecasts and the wisdom of the lore. The style is direct, fresh, and evocative, with nary a cliche and never a dull moment.