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Monday, November 5, 2012

Book Review: The Sandcastle Girls

One perk of Hurricane Sandy was having plenty of time to read.  I had plenty of time to tear through a couple novels, including Chris Bohjalian's "The Sandcastle Girls."  I had previously read "Midwives," also by Bohjalian, and enjoyed it.  The synopsis for this particular book didn't look as interesting as some of his other novels, but when I saw a signed copy in the bookstore, I couldn't resist picking it up.

I found the book more engaging that I had thought.  The majority of the story follows Elizabeth Endicott, a well-meaning Bostonian from a prominent family, as she works in Syria to aid the victims of the Armenian Genocide and falls in love with a local man.  The rest of the story takes place generations later as Elizabeth's granddaughter, Laura, tries to uncover her family's buried history.  Previously, the only thing I knew about Armenians was Kim Kardashian, but it turns out the Armenian people have a history that goes much deeper than famous good looks and a reality show.  I had no idea there was a systematic elimination - of Holocaust proportions - of Armenians by the Turks.  If this was ever mentioned in my high school curriculum, I don't remember it, but give me a history lesson in novel format, and I'm sure to absorb some knowledge.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

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