Customer Reviews for

The Sandcastle Girls

Average Rating 4
( 103 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(42)

4 Star

(30)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(10)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

38 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

Bohjalian beautifully brings this story to life, painting a tale and characters that will forever be etched in my heart.

Inspired by his own family history Bohjalian brings this tale to life through the fictional character Laura Petrosian. She lives in present day America and is seeking information about her Armenian heritage and her late grandparents. Through her, Bohjalian takes us on a...
Inspired by his own family history Bohjalian brings this tale to life through the fictional character Laura Petrosian. She lives in present day America and is seeking information about her Armenian heritage and her late grandparents. Through her, Bohjalian takes us on a journey to Aleppo, Syria in the year 1915. American, Elizabeth Endicott, has just arrived with her father. They have come to assist the Armenian League of America. Thousands of refugees are pouring into Syria to escape the terror. Some are marched in by Turkish soldiers. Mostly woman and children; they are emancipated, naked and burned from the blazing sun. Here Elizabeth, her father and others work to save as many lives as they can. It is also here that Elizabeth will meet Armen. He is an Armenian who survived the onslaught in Aon. His wife wife and daughter are believed to be dead. He is an engineer and is in Aleppo with soldiers working on railroads. The tale that unfolds transports us back and forth as Laura shares the story of what occurred in Aleppo and the grandparents she knew in America. Bohjalian weaves a tale that both opens your eyes to the tragedy the occurred and has you falling in love with the characters he has created. I literally consumed this novel as the tale swept me up. It is one, I will talk about, recommend, and remember forever. The characters while fictional could just as easily have been real as Bohjalian weaves them through this time in history. I liked the narrator Laura. She was honest and feisty and brought such an air of authenticity to this story. She is someone I would like to share a cup of coffee with. Elizabeth while educated, caring and capable..is something of a wild child. I adored her and the way she stepped in to help. Armen’s story is touching and I was amazed at how he kept it together. Events revealed to us, shape the man he becomes and the grandfather Laura will come to admire. We met other characters in Aleppo that touched my heart. One in particular a nine year old girl named Hatoun. She survived the desert with the help of Nevert, but not before witnessing the horrific murder of her mother and sister. Karin’s story moved me to unspeakable tears. We meet allies and brave people who helped to get the story out. Bohjalian’s world building was spectacular and eerily surreal. Already a proven artist, it is evident that he poured his heart and soul into these pages. He brings this dark, ominous, evil time in history to life all while shining a light on the good of those who tried to aid the Armenian’s plight. His characters have such depth that I find it hard to believe they didn’t exist. He painstakingly portrayed these horrific atrocities against human life. Even in the darkest corners of my mind I cannot fathom how any human could commit such acts. Please understand that while the events occurring in this novel are dark, the author also brings light and joy into the tale. Through his characters, I laughed, giggled and experienced moments of true joy. The romance that spanned a lifetime was beautiful, bittersweet and left me feeling warm and fuzzy. I highly recommend this thought provoking saga to fans of historical fiction. Anyone who wants to learn more about what historians and politicians covered up for the sake of allies and diplomatic ties should read The Sandcastle Girls. Bohjalian is forever on my auto-buy list and I look forward to his next endeavor. Bravo and well done Chris! I want to thank Knopf Publis

posted by kimba88 on June 29, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

Dragged myself thru this

Terrible Very disappointed

posted by 3909242 on July 24, 2012

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 103 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2013

    Not the best bohjalian

    I usually like his books but this one disappoints.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2013

    I rated this 3 stars because it is well written. I had been awa

    I rated this 3 stars because it is well written. I had been aware of Armenian genocide..but, not to this extent. tis book was chosen for our book club; I could not finish it.
    I found the descriptions of torture more than I could handle.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

    A piece of history unbeknownst to me!

    This book was recommended to me by a fellow book lover. Once I sat down, there was no putting this book down. I felt so uneducated, I never knew about the Armenian massacre! The story was difficult to read due to the subject matter but the impact on the entire family from the parents' experience was so beautifully told, loved this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

    a real awakening

    I liked this book very much. I have read other books by Bohjalian and I love the way he writes. But this one was a true revelation to me, knowing nothing about the 1915 genocide of the Armenians. Very well aware of the Holocaust in Germany through my own family's heritage and history I know how important it is to make the world aware of these hateful crimes that continue today. This one, done in the form of a novel with characters we can feel for, including an underlying romance, made it easy to read and stay with. Bravo.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A wonderful heartbreaking book

    when I think of this book, all that comes to me is Karine. My heart aches for her suffering and yes there were millions but, they are all of them in the end... Karine.
    This is a heartbreaking story of a genocide I was not familiar with and for that reason alone a miracle and blessing Chris has written about it. This is a story no one should ever forget about, and on that note...
    This is a story about a young woman in 1915, Elizabeth Endicott who is traveling with her father to Aleppo to assist with the Armenian league of America with the thousands of refugees flooding into Syria from Turkey where a mass genocide is occurring.
    there are many intertwining stories in this book but the main one is about the love between Elizabeth, Armen and Karine
    It is in Aleppo that Elizabeth meets Armen, an Armenian engineer who has lost his wife and young daughter in the carnage. They begin tentatively to correspond when Armen goes to Egypt to join the British army and they slowly through their letters fall in love.
    This story will grab you by the short hairs and not let you go until you are either in tears or at the end of the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2012

    Wonderful book. A masterpiece about the worst tragedy suffered b

    Wonderful book. A masterpiece about the worst tragedy suffered by the
    Armenian people. Bohjalian´s novel manages to offer a glimpse at the
    reality of the descendants of the survivors of this massacre. All over
    the world the Armenian families of the Diaspora keep the terrible
    stories of their slaughtered relatives.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2012

    Could not put it down. Wonderful read about a subject we all ne

    Could not put it down. Wonderful read about a subject we all need to know more about

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2012

    Horrifying events, ... which I know the author isn't making up,

    Horrifying events, ... which I know the author isn't making up, as I have read other accounts of these events. While this is fiction, the author made the actual events very readable. He put a human side to the events of 1915 that has not been analyzed/evaluated as other "20th century wars" have been. The author's use of the technique of changing time periods - from 1915 to the present and back - was done very well. It allowed for the beginning of a much needed examination/analysis of these events and not just the Turkish view - nothing happened except "civil disobedience" and it is all "ancient history."

    In addition, what I had to keep reminding myself was that the author was not the female narrator in the novel - when writing in the present with all the detail and description. As another reviewer wrote - he hit the mark on being able to "inhabit the female mind and accurately depict his characters' inner lives is amazing."

    Thank you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2012

    Chris Bohjalian is one of my favorite writers - his storylines n

    Chris Bohjalian is one of my favorite writers - his storylines never cease to amaze me and even teach me. This book is no different - maybe even more so. I can not even do justice to this book as much as a fellow reviewer. Please read the review from kimba88.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2012

    Cant wait to read

    Looking forward to it

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2015

    Boring

    Story went back and forth in time. Never finished the book as could not get into it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2015

    Great book!

    This is the second recent book I've read about the poor treatment of human nature. Well done and informative!!

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  • Posted April 15, 2015

    So the title doesn't really do the book justice. This book langu

    So the title doesn't really do the book justice. This book languished on my shelf for a while because I had no clue what it was about. Turns out, it's about the Armenian genocide. See? Didn't get that from the title, right? So, the narrator is an American of Armenian decent who decides to write a book about her grandparents who lived during the Armenian genocide. Although long dead, the narrators grandmother left behind letters documenting her time. The book jumps back and forth between present day and mainly Aleppo in 1915. It was there, in Aleppo, that Elizabeth, a headstrong American doing philanthropic work with her father meets Armen, an Armenian engineer who escaped the horrors of his home town. Armen is looking for any information about how his wife and child died, for they have surely done so. Elizabeth helps him heal his heart, but can't help him escape his need for revenge. He sets off to join the British Army so that he can take vengeance on the Turks. Eventually, he realizes the futility of it and returns to Elizabeth. Elizabeth, meanwhile, stays in Aleppo tending to the wounded and witnessing the atrocities of the genocide. The author spares no detail in describing the horrors of the time. And yet, it's a story full of hope and love in the midst of so much horror. Highly recommended. 

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  • Posted January 9, 2015

    Recommended.

    I enjoyed reading this one. I have read nearly all of this author's books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    Highly recommend

    I highly recommend this book.

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  • Posted February 21, 2014

    Highly recommended!

    This is most interesting and an in-depth revelation of cultural differences, most likely due to ignorance. It is a great discussion for book clubs.

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  • Posted September 6, 2013

    Great insight into Armenian genocide

    I really like his books and this one was good too. I was unaware of the genocide and I learned a lot. Highly recommended

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  • Posted June 9, 2013

    My first 5-star book this year!

    I chose The Sandcastle Girls to read only because of the author. I have read many of his books and they are all wonderful. He has outdone himself with The Sandcastle Girls. In a way, reading this book was like reading history - it felt as if I was learning for the first time about the "Genocide almost nobody knows anything about". The characters felt real - the story felt real - emotionally I was right there watching the story unfold. Wonderful book!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Major Pettigrews Last Stand

    Wonderful story of love loss and redemption. Auprise ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Excellent book!

    My book club read The Sandcastle Girls and we all loved it. It was a little slow in the beginning but it definitely picks up and turns out to be a wonderful story.

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 103 Customer Reviews
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