Introducing Victoria Atamian Waterman’s debut novel Who She Left Behind

Who She Left Behind is a captivating historical fiction novel spanning multiple generations. It is set in various time periods and locations, immersing readers into the declining days of the Ottoman Empire and the Armenian communities in Rhode Island and Massachusetts during the 1990s. The narrative is framed by a mysterious discovery of Armenian dolls at Victoria’s grave, which leads her on a quest for redemption as an immigrant, wife, sister and aunt. The story revolves around themes of survival, motherhood and love, drawing inspiration from the author’s own family history. 

Who She Left Behind is Victoria (Atamian) Waterman’s debut novel. The author was born and currently resides in Rhode Island. Her upbringing in an immigrant, bilingual and multi-generational household, which included survivors of the Armenian Genocide, has greatly influenced her storytelling. She is dedicated to bringing attention to the often-overlooked narratives of brave women who not only endured but resisted the atrocities of the Genocide. These women played crucial roles in rebuilding their communities in the aftermath of war.  

Victoria Atamian Waterman

Waterman’s journey to writing a historical fiction novel about her family’s survival and immigration to the United States began when she discovered flowers at her late aunt Vicky’s gravesite. Her aunt passed away in 1963 and had no children. Intrigued by the mysterious flowers, Waterman embarked on an extensive investigation to unravel the secrets surrounding her family’s past, resulting in her debut novel.

Waterman serves as a trustee of the Soorp Asdvadzadzin Armenian Apostolic Church in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. She was a presenter at the 2023 AGBU Women Shaping the World Conference.

Who She Left Behind will be released in October this year by The Historium Press. Pre-orders will be available beginning October 1st.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.


  1. Victoria, I’ll be at your church picnic this Sunday and hope to see you there.
    My family roots are in Whitinsville, Hopedale and Milford.
    So many people call that area home. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why your church picnic is the best in New England year after year. To go along with the fabulous food, shaded trees, tremendous musicians and the neighborhood.

  2. Victoria, I can’t wait to read your book!!! Looking forward to learning about the women in your novel!!

  3. Congratulations! I can’t wait to read it. It has been an incredible journey that has only just begun.

  4. So thrilled about this book’s publication. Clearly a labor of love and one I look forward to reading!

  5. Congratulations Victoria! What a shining achievement to add to the others! I will definitely be reading this!

  6. Congratulations Vicki on what I know to have been a lifelong desire now coming to fruition. By painstakingly researching the events of our grandparents’ era, you bring that element of history so necessary to fully understand the backdrop of your novel. I only wish they were alive to witness such a gift that you are giving to the entire Armenian community. We can never forget the overwhelming obstacles they overcame to provide us the life we are now blessed to have.

  7. After attending the launch of Ms. Waterman’s book, I couldn’t wait to read it. Fortunately, I had 8 hours of travel time the next day and polished it off. Hearing her speak about the people and things in her life that inspired her to write the book and then reading it, taught me much about Armenian culture and the genocide. I was also appreciative that this history was told from a woman’s perspective. Brava for your first book. Looking forward to your next one!

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