‘Cry of Nineveh’ weaves together drama of persecuted Christians, Iraq War veteran

“Cry of Nineveh,” the second novel by Joyce Coronel, debuted in November and those who have read it say they have been moved by its haunting story of faith and love amidst fear and desolation. One reader, a physician who once lived in Saudi Arabia, had this to say in an email to the author:

“I’ve never had a fiction reading experience in which I was simultaneously (and seriously) fearful of reading further and so curious I couldn’t set it down.”

As with “A Martyr’s Crown,” the new book is based on years of interviews with Christians who have fled the violence and persecution in their native Iraq.

While the world was initially shocked by the takeover of Mosul by ISIS, people have now turned their eyes to other issues. Whether it’s the latest political controversy, police shootings or the Olympics, the ongoing injustice against Christians has been largely forgotten.

There are still tens of thousands of Christians languishing in refugee camps in Erbil and Jordan.

So why another novel? Why not a non-fiction book that lays out the facts about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East?

It’s already been done. John Allen’s “The Global War on Christians” does a fine job in this regard.

Coronel’s aim is to move hearts and motivate readers to embrace their Christian faith with renewed vigor and sincerity. And then to take action, particularly on behalf of the beleaguered Christians of the Middle East.

“Think of what Hollywood has been able to accomplish with movies about hot-button topics. They pull you in with a story that moves your heart and have been able to shape public attitudes on a number of issues — for better or for worse,” Coronel said. “Why shouldn’t a Catholic author do the same thing?”

“Cry of Nineveh” movingly depicts the story of how the violent persecution of Christians in Mosul impacts one family. It’s also a close-up view of a man named Joe Campbell, an Iraq War combat veteran haunted by what he experienced in battle.

Here’s what some of those who have reviewed the book had to say about it:

Spectacular.  The characters of Cry of Nineveh are very believable and compelling.  Their stories tell the real, flesh and blood story of heroes and villains in our midst. They also help us go beyond, to see that our ultimate struggle is between the forces of darkness and Jesus Christ, the only One who can give us true peace.

–Father Charles Goraieb, Pastor, St. Timothy Catholic Church

Well done and inspiring! A real strength of the book is that the author brings the characters alive, that we see through their eyes the struggles of veterans, families and friends; that we see the real impacts of the ISIS takeover of Mosul and the impact on Christians in the war zone.

–Major General (Ret) John L. Scott, U.S. Army and Catholic deacon

A compelling, gripping story not very far from real events happening in Iraq, written with great attention to detail. An expertly executed novel that keeps you at the edge of your seat. 

— Maha George, who survived a shooting and fled Iraq in 1997