Customer Reviews for

The Sandcastle Girls

Average Rating 4
( 94 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(39)

4 Star

(27)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

38 out of 41 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

1 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Dragged myself thru this

Terrible Very disappointed

posted by 3909242 on July 24, 2012

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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2012

    I have read most of Bohjalian's books. Once again I have learne

    I have read most of Bohjalian's books. Once again I have learned of an
    event of which I had no knowledge. Interesting read, but had difficulty
    keeping the characters straight since it kept bouncing back and forth
    between eras. Others have been better.

    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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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    Dragged myself thru this

    Terrible Very disappointed

    1 out of 10 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 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 October 26, 2013

    History revisited

    Unbelievlevable sad story of the attempted nialation of a people. Sadly, this was in the late 1800's, but continues today in other parts of the world. Which leaves me to ask, have we learned nothing?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2013

    Not the best bohjalian

    I usually like his books but this one disappoints.

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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 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.

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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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  • Posted February 2, 2013

    Bohjalian strikes again!

    In my mind, there is no better author than Chris Bohjalian I have read all but his very early books (started with Midwives)and have never been disappointed. This is a sweeping epic about the Armenian genocide in the early 1900's. Bohjalian does a wonderful job taking us back to the Ottoman Empire in 1915-16. While the history part of the story is true, the characters are fiction. Elizabeth and her father, who are Americans, have gone to the area on a mission to help the Armenians - hundreds of thousands who have already been killed. It follows their lives there and the connections they have made with a few special people. A must read for Bohjalian fans and those who would like to become one of his faithful followers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2012

    Good

    This was good. The author created likable characters & I learned a little about the Genocide of Armenians in 1916. The end answered some questions, but those answered questions led to more, unanswered questions. A good read, I would recommend it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2012

    The Sandcastle Girls was a very insightful historical fiction book. Chris Bohjalian has done an in depth research on the subject of the Armenian Genocide.

    I will be reccommending The Sandcastle Girls to my book club. It spans from New York in 2012 to Syria in 1915. This dramatic telling of the Armenian nation trying to be wiped out by the Turkish empire was extremely enlightming. Much of the world did not know it was going on. It is a love story that spans the times. Once I started reading it I could not put it down. So much hidden history was revield. He is an excellent writer. I have read two other of his books.

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  • Posted November 17, 2012

    This heartrending novel tells of the tragic genocide of millions

    This heartrending novel tells of the tragic genocide of millions of Armenians in 1915, a period of history I knew nothing about before reading this book. The story is raw, poignant and interwoven with abhorrent war crimes and intense, emotional stories of love and friendship. With Syria once again in headlines, the landscapes and tragedies described in the novel are especially thought-provoking. Highly recommended for historical fiction readers.

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