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The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian

The Sandcastle Girls (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Chris Bohjalian

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650None14,805 (3.91)34
Title:The Sandcastle Girls
Authors:Chris Bohjalian
Info:Simon & Schuster Ltd (2012), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Tags:Armenian genocide, audio, Aleppo, Syria, World War i, torture, Turkey, missionaries, frriendship, refugees, geneaology

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The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian (2012)

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The Sandcastle Girls. Chris Bohjalian. 2012. The Armenian Genocide[7] (Armenian:), also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, traditionally by Armenians, as the Great Crime (Armenian: Մեծ Եղեռն Medz Yeghern)[8][9] was the Ottoman government's systematic extermination of its minority Armenian subjects from their historic homeland in the territory constituting the present-day Republic of Turkey. It took place during and after World War I and was implemented in two phases: the wholesale killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and forced labor, and the deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm on death marches to the Syrian Desert.[10][11] The total number of people killed as a result has been estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million. Other indigenous and Christian ethnic groups such as the Assyrians, the Greeks and other minority groups were similarly targeted for extermination by the Ottoman government, and their treatment is considered by many historians to be part of the same genocidal policy. Wikipedia
I was vaguely aware of the Armenian Genocide, but did not know any details until I read this novel. Under the egis of The Friends of Armenia, and American woman goes to what is now Turkey to help the Armenians. She sends reports back to the Friends and letters to her friends and family describing the situation. She falls in love with an Armenian engineer who leaves to join the British army and is wounded at Gallipoli. Eventually they are married. Their granddaughter is the narrator. ( )
  judithrs | Mar 23, 2014 |
Fantastic, horrifying, a well-written historical fiction that makes the Armenian genocide all too real ( )
  pennykaplan | Mar 22, 2014 |
A historical fiction book based on fact from WWI - The story of the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman empire. At times riveting, at others horrifying. Elizabeth is an American who comes to Aleppo to aid the Armenian refuges, only to find that the government doesn't consider them quite refuges - they are systematically killing them. Armen is an Armenian engineer that manages to escape with his life, when almost all the other men are killed, and the women and children marched in a death march to "resettlement" camps, most losing their lives along the way. Elizabeth and Armen finally emigrate to America, and juxtaposed with their story, is their granddaughter's story of what she finds and why she's writing about it. ( )
  nancynova | Mar 21, 2014 |
The Sandcastle Girls tells the story of the contemporary narrator's grandparents who met in Armenia during WWI and the Armenian genocide. I enjoyed the book but I didn't find the story as "searing" as the book flap led me to believe. There is a secret revealed near the end that was quite tragic, but the build-up to the secret led me to expect something more than what it turned out to be. Overall, an enjoyable novel but not stand-out. ( )
  sbsolter | Feb 6, 2014 |
Very good! ( )
  Delorescobb | Jan 25, 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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