The Sandcastle Girls

The Sandcastle Girls

Book - 2012
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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, c2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780385534796
Branch Call Number: BOHJALIAN C
Characteristics: 299 p. ; 25 cm.


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Jul 16, 2018

My Mother used to tell me a phrase I never thought about, "the starving Armenians". She used it in reference to my not eating something. I just thought it an expression -- I had no idea... until I read this book. A book I found totally compelling -- yet I normally cannot and will not read books with violence, pain and suffering. I also don't like books that flip back and forth from one time period to another. This book, however, was so crafted that I could withstand the suffering because it flipped to a happier, safer time. I strongly recommend it. I not only devoured it, I have since looked everything up (thank goodness for Google) to learn so much more. I love books the inform and cause me to want to learn more!

CatherineG_1 Oct 11, 2017

Reread this for my bookclub. Loved this book even more the second time. Very enlightening, well written story.

ArapahoeRima Jan 28, 2017

I have started reading this ebook and the tragic events of 1915 its such a familiar subject matter to me that sometimes I put the book down and contemplate if I want to continue reading it. I get really emotional. However, I decided that I will read it and see what happens.

ArapahoeTatyana Aug 06, 2016

A spellbinding tale travels between Aleppo, Syria, in 1915, and Bronxville, New York, in 2012, - a sweeping historical love story , love, that survived through Armenian massacres of 1915-1923.

Dec 29, 2015

The novel focuses on Elizabeth’s relationship with Armen, an Armenian engineer she meets early on, while also highlighting the suffering of the Armenian people, particularly the women and children. It is all shown through the eyes of Laura, Elizabeth and Armen’s granddaughter, who wants to learn more about the past they never discussed with her. The author holds nothing back – the descriptions of the Armenians’ suffering are graphic and will stay with readers, but so will an awareness of this moment in history. Book club worthy.

Oct 31, 2014

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.

Aug 15, 2014

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.

Jun 18, 2014

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.

ChristchurchLib May 18, 2014

"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

Mar 16, 2014

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

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Neptune1020 Aug 08, 2012

Neptune1020 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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