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The Sandcastle Girls

Bohjalian, Chris

(Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Sandcastle Girls
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In his fifteenth book, the author brings us on a very different kind of journey. This tale travels between Aleppo, Syria, in 1915 and Bronxville, New York, in 2012, a sweeping historical love story steeped in the author's Armenian heritage, making it his most personal novel to date. When Elizabeth Endicott arrives in Syria, she has a diploma from Mount Holyoke College, a crash course in nursing, and only the most basic grasp of the Armenian language. The First World War is spreading across Europe, and she has volunteered on behalf of the Boston-based Friends of Armenia to 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 to join the British Army in Egypt, 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. Flash forward to the present, 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.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0385534795
9780385534796
Branch Call Number: x
Characteristics: p. cm

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Oct 31, 2014
  • 21221018293347 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

who knew. I certainly didn't. It is amazing that there was an Armenian genocide prior to World War 1. Fantastic story of the tragedy presented as is without apology. As the granddaughter from the 21st century investigates, she discovers the history of her grandparents and their time in Armenia during 1915. The story is woven together from the viewpoint of various characters: a child, a widow, an American Armenian from Boston, a man who lost his family, soldiers who fought (German, Austrailian, New Zealanders and British), and the American consul who worked to smuggle photographs of the genocide to America. Chris Bohjalian is a brilliant story teller and a joy to read.

This was an amazing book. I was awed at the author's ability to tell the engaging tales of a wide cast of both fictional and real characters and also enlighten the reader about a complex time in world history. The Armenian genocide and persecution was such an horrific event. The author communicated the horror and used it as a backdrop for the stories of people whom the reader came to care about a lot.

Jul 10, 2014
  • Neptune1020 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

A great novel about the horrors of war told from multiple viewpoints.

Chris Bohjalian is at his best in this novel, which, in its description of the horror of war, weaves a tender novel of the discovery of family ties. The plot weaves carefully and clearly the ties of today's family with that of old family members.

"As in Jodi Picoult's The Storyteller, war and genocide form the backdrop of this thought-provoking novel from an author known for examining hot-button issues in small town settings. But The Sandcastle Girls is nevertheless a bit of a departure for Chris Bohjalian, combining as it does a present-day setting with a historical love story (inspired by Bohjalian's Armenian heritage) set in 1915 Syria, during the Armenian genocide. Focusing on Laura Petrosian as she learns more about her great-grandparents' history, this moving, complex, and haunting novel explores the consequences of the genocide many years later, and "will leave you reeling" (Booklist)." Fiction A to Z May 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/96117fb3-f773-4ebe-a30e-0933ee1fb11f?postId=88caf547-9d7c-4692-932a-8cbe7ef5fe90

Mar 16, 2014
  • InvernessS rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Chris Bohjalian is a fantastic writer & story teller. Based on his personal interest & research of the Armenian slaughter of the WWI era. In novel form it somewhat diminishes the events. Love story? Hmmmm

Mar 13, 2014
  • KCLSRecommends rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A powerful novel about the events that led to the coining of the new word "genocide": the slaughter of over a million Armenians in Turkey just before World War I.

Feb 13, 2014
  • sharonb122 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

At first I had a hard time getting into the plot and caring about the characters. The main character, Elizabeth, I believe, did not seem to suit the setting of 1915. However, I did like the historical setting of the genicide of the Armenians. I believe that Eugenides began his novel, Middlesex, with this same historical event. I did eventually pick up on the plot and cared more for the characters. The ending was sprinkled with hope, which I like, and cleverly done.

Skillfully interweaves stories from 1915 Armenia and modern suburban New York. Sandcastle Girls illustrates the horrors of the Armenian genocide. However, Bohjalian manages to do so without letting his characters become two-dimensional.

Jun 10, 2013
  • mrsgail5756 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

A very good book. I would recommend this book for all to read.

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Jul 10, 2014
  • Neptune1020 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Neptune1020 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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app07 Version gurli Last updated 2014/12/09 10:52