Elizabeth Endicott went abroad to help the Armenians who were being methodically massacred. In the city of Aleope where Armenians come in nearly dead, she meets Armen, an Armenian engineer who has lost both his family to this genocide. The two fall in love. Many years later, one of their descendants begins to investigate her family history and uncovers an incredible and devastating secret.
I enjoyed Bohjalian’s new book. He does a fantastic job of taking Armenian history–a topic that was unfamiliar to me-and made it extremely accessible and personal. I was floored by his descriptions of the Armenians’ suffering, but the way he does it is extremely graceful and tasteful. I appreciated his great characterization, fantastic writing, and the way he built the setting. All of these aspects are typical Bohjalian, and I loved those aspects of the book. However, I didn’t enjoy The Sandcastle Girls nearly as much as I’ve enjoyed the other works of his that I’ve read. As I said, the setting and characters were great, but there was something missing. There was not a lot of tension in the plot, and I think that it where the book fell flat. That being said, I still enjoyed it and believe The Sandcastle Girls to be worth a read, if only for the view into this tragic piece of history.