The Sandcastle Girls: Review and Free Giveaway

Product DetailsThe Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian

Release date: 2012 / 320 pages

Synopsis (from 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.

Review: Fiction can expose readers to historical events that few would choose to experience, but all must understand in order to plumb the depths of joy and despair that hinge on where and when an individual happens to be born.

Enter Laura Petrosian: a novelist usually focused on “domestic comedy about New Agey women on the social margins” decides to explore how her paternal grandparents survived the Armenian genocide — the “Slaughter You Know Next to Nothing About” — and answer the question “How do a million and a half people die with nobody knowing?” She begins her investigation in 1915 when Petrosian’s Bostonian grandmother, a recent graduate of Mount Holyoke, travels to Aleppo, Syria to escape a suitable match with a well-to-do young man in order to discover her own independent identity and help the “less fortunate.” What she finds is true love with a recently widowed Armenian engineer who she quickly falls in love with even in the midst of a massacre of unimaginable proportions.

In The Sandcastle Girls, Bohjalian successfully balances a poignant character-driven romance with an exploration of a chapter of history that is little-known yet unforgettable. Bohjalian was inspired to write this novel by his Armenian grandparents and grounds the narrative in historical facts about the genocide (his list of reference materials is exhaustive).

The Sandcastle Girls would be an excellent choice for a book club, satisfying readers who love a good story as well as those who prefer to learn a bit about history.

Thank you to Shelf Awareness for asking me to read and review this! Interested in a winning a free copy — leave me a comment!


This entry was posted in Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to The Sandcastle Girls: Review and Free Giveaway

  1. Jayme says:

    This book has been getting great reviews. Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. Debbie says:

    Definitely on my “to read” list! Thanks for the great giveaways!

  3. Diane Castiglione says:

    Thank you for the review and give away.
    Have seen great reviews on this book. Would love to read it.

  4. Deb says:

    I am a huge Bohjalian fan. This book has gotten great reviews so far and I’m eager to read it.

  5. Sherrie Gil says:

    Sounds like a great read. Please sign me up. Thanks!

  6. Miriam Boots says:

    I am a librarian and member of several book clubs. This would make for a great discussion.

  7. Carl says:

    I’d be thrilled to win a free copy of The Sandcastle Girls. Please enter my name in the draw. Thanks very much.

  8. Heather says:

    There has been a lot of talk about this book lately. Sounds great!

  9. Lisa Garrett says:

    Thanks for the giveaway! I have this one on my wishlist.

  10. Theresa Cain says:

    I’d love to be the lucky winner of this book that sounds like a great read!!! And, as always, thanks for the opportunity.

  11. Cierina says:

    Since reading Midwives, I’ve been hooked on reading all of Chris Bohjalian’s novels. I would love this one. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  12. Nola Tininenko says:

    You always provide excellent and varied titles. This sounds like another good read.

  13. anne says:

    What a wonderful novel. It is memorable and special. Thanks for this chance.

  14. Margie says:

    This looks like a very intriguing book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  15. ellie says:

    this captivating story appeals to me greatly. Thanks.

  16. diane says:

    A great novel which would be wonderful reading this summer.

  17. Lynne says:

    This book has had amazing reviews. I hope to get a copy!!! I have read all of Bohjalian’s work and this is reported to be his very best. Can’t wait to read it.

  18. CarolK says:

    Bohjalian’s books are always excellent! I’d love to win a copy.

  19. Sheila Herman says:

    I love reading stories about other countries and the experiences of those that travel.Whether fiction or non fiction it opens new horizons. I know our book club would enjoy this book to experience and discuss.

  20. JO says:

    I’ve read all his other books and am curious to see how this one compares. Would love to read it. Thanks.

  21. Amy says:

    This book sounds enjoyable and compelling. I’ve read several books by this author and want to read this one.
    Thanks for a wonderful review.
    If your giveaway is still open, please include me in it!

  22. Michael says:

    Everyone’s talking about this book and I do like the way Chris seemingly changes genres with every book he writes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *