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The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian

The Sandcastle Girls (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Chris Bohjalian

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7109913,292 (3.9)39
Title:The Sandcastle Girls
Authors:Chris Bohjalian
Collections:Your library
Tags:Armenia, Syria, Historical Fiction, ARC, Love Stories

Work details

The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian (2012)

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If you know nothing about the Armenian genocide, which began around the beginning of World War I, before the United States entered the war, you'll know enough after reading THE SANDCASTLE GIRLS to want to know more.That's what good books do: while they entertain, they also teach, and they intrigue us enough to look up further information. And this is a really good book.

THE SANDCASTLE GIRLS is two stories: one, the story that Laura, a writer, tells in first person about her research for a book about her grandparents, survivors of the Armenian genocide, and, two, the story she writes along with the secret she uncovers.You may find that the parts of the book that tell of Laura's research are a relief after you read the other parts that describe the Armenian genocide. That is because, although THE SANDCASTLE GIRLS is fiction, the Armenian genocide is real horror. In the absence of actual pictures, Chris Bohjalian is sometimes graphic enough that pictures of the genocide will be in your head.

The story of Laura's grandparents, though, is not horrible. It's a love story in the midst of horror that some countries, the United States included, have yet to OFFICIALLY recognize as genocide. Why? Perhaps because some of the Armenians who the Turks accidentally left alive were not passive. ( )
  techeditor | Oct 19, 2014 |
This is the story of Elizabeth, a young girl from Boston, who goes to Syria to write to the Friends of Armenia about the Armenian Genocide. The history of this time during the first World War as well as the love story with an Armenian is told through her granddaughter. I really enjoyed the history as well as the love story of this book.
  Judy.Welker.Frick | Sep 21, 2014 |
I thought the book was ok. Learned a lot but just was missing something.
  waeschle | Sep 2, 2014 |
Well written and interesting book about a genocide that not many people have heard about.
Lots of traveling back and forth from modern day to early 1900's when Armenians were being wiped out.
Graphic, real, not for our high schoolers but for other students of history may be an interesting addition. ( )
  FaithLibrarian | Jul 18, 2014 |
I have come to the conclusion that I will measure my like or dislike or lukewarm reaction to a book is how long it takes me to read it. I try and find time in the middle of the day, I wake up in the middle of the night. I just can't wait to find time to read! This is how it was with The Sandcastle girls. At times shocking and hard to read, violent and makes you want to look away but an intriguing and engaging story about a time in history I had no idea took place. The slaughter of a million and a half Armenian during WWI. Fascinating. ( )
  Alphawoman | May 19, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385534795, Hardcover)

The Sandcastle Girls is a sweeping historical love story steeped in Chris Bohjalian's Armenian heritage.
When Elizabeth Endicott arrives in Aleppo, Syria she has a diploma from Mount Holyoke, a crash course in nursing,  and only the most basic grasp of the Armenian language.  The year is 1915 and she has volunteered on behalf of the Boston-based Friends of Armenia to help deliver food and medical aid to refugees of the Armenian genocide.  There Elizabeth becomes friendly with Armen, a young Armenian engineer who has already lost his wife and infant daughter.  When Armen leaves Aleppo and travels south into Egypt to join the British army, he begins to write Elizabeth letters, and comes to realize that he has fallen in love with the wealthy, young American woman who is so different from the wife he lost.
Fast forward to the present day, where we meet Laura Petrosian, a novelist living in suburban New York.  Although her grandparents' ornate Pelham home was affectionately nicknamed "The Ottoman Annex," Laura has never really given her Armenian heritage much thought. But when an old friend calls, claiming to have seen a newspaper photo of Laura's grandmother promoting an exhibit at a Boston museum, Laura embarks on a journey back through her family's history that reveals love, loss - and a wrenching secret that has been buried for generations.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:07 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Parallel stories of a woman who falls in love with an Armenian soldier during the Armenian Genocide and a modern-day New Yorker prompted to rediscover her Armenian past"--

(summary from another edition)

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Average: (3.9)
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1.5 1
2 11
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3 38
3.5 19
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4.5 18
5 60

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