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The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian

The Sandcastle Girls (2012)

by Chris Bohjalian

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9371129,295 (3.93)46
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Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
Profoundly moving book about family history and the Armenian genocide of 1915. I can't quit thinking about it. The book taught me things I didn't know, took me places I haven't been, and just felt very personal. I have a new author to add to my list (he isn't new, I just haven't read his books). There is one image that the author uses over and over to express the anguish of a little girl's soul that deeply moved me, and -from a literary sense- it was just perfect in its devastating simplicity. Also liked his note at the end, and the author interview (I listened to the book). It sealed the deal on him for me when he mentioned that he was highly anticipating Toni Morrison's book Home that was published after his interview. I love the true melting pot vastness of American writers. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
Read this for my local library fiction book group and I love books that share history. Although this is a work of fiction, it is based on a little known history of the Armenian genocide that took place in Aleppo Syria in 1915. The novel covers this history and present day of a woman trying to decipher the story of her grandparents and her journey to find the truth.

I enjoyed the story and look to learn more about the history of the story. The author did not disappoint! ( )
  yvonne.sevignykaiser | Apr 2, 2016 |
Although basically a love story, this book is richly seeped in historical fact exposing the atrocities that the Armenians had to endure at the hands of the Turks. While there are hundreds of books about the Jewish Holocaust, this is the first book I've read about the Armenian genocide of 1915. At times this book is extremely violent and brutal, it is also a poignant, compelling story about a period in time that is not widely known. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jan 23, 2016 |
This was a boring book. I didn't like the back and forth of the stories--between different characters and different time periods. The one thing I did like was learning something new in history. Some of his other books sound intriguing. I may give them a try and see if they're better. ( )
  HeatherWP | Jan 19, 2016 |
The author uses the Armenian Genocide as the setting for his historical novel. During WWI, the Ottoman Empire sought the extermination of the Armenians within their homeland, which would be today part of Turkey. Men were massacred or died in forced labor. Many women and children died on death marches through the Syrian desert.

The novel involves two timelines. The first is a love story between two with very different backgrounds. Elizabeth Endicott, a young woman from a wealthy Bostonian family, travels with the Friends of Armenia to what is currently Aleppo, Syria, to provide humanitarian aid to woman and children deportees. Shortly after her arrival she meets an Armenian engineer working with the German army, who lost his wife and daughter. During the next several years the two correspond while she remains in Allepo and he enlists with the British army to fight the Turks at Gallipoli. The second timeline involves Laura, the couples' granddaughter, a writer, who seeks to learn more about her grandparents beginnings and her Armenian heritage.

Chris Bohjalian, a favorite author of mine, has used a variety of genres, to highlight specific social issues. His characters, especially the primary ones, are developed well. I became emotionally involved in this novel and learned much regarding another historical event of "man's humanity against man." ( )
  John_Warner | Jan 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:36 -0400)

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"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"--

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Average: (3.93)
1 6
1.5 1
2 14
2.5 4
3 49
3.5 18
4 139
4.5 23
5 78


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