Why didn’t I know about the 1915 Armenian Genocide? I was a history minor after all, why am I just learning about this now? Well all I can say is it’s about time.
The book brings readers on a journey from the days of WW I to the present. The grandmother in the story, Elizabeth Endicott, leaves her comfortable life in Boston to travel with her philanthropic father, on a mission from the Friends of Armenia. Elizabeth wants more, and we learn that she is quite her own woman, which I think is refreshing as a female character. Granddaughter Laura Petrosian in present day starts to learn more about her family’s history and the more she learns the more she uncovers about the past and how it has shaped the lives of generations.
Many people, including myself, would agree that we don’t know much about our families’ history. Reading The Sand Castle Girls makes me even more interested in uncovering and learning about my family, but also cautious of what I might find. You just never know what you are going to learn and how it might change your present.
The story made me uncomfortable at times, but I think that is a good thing. Reading about the Armenian Genocide and the trauma’s that men, women and children endured was disturbing. The uncomfortable parts make the book memorable and real.
I would recommend this book to those who have an appreciation for history and want to learn more about this time period. You will need that desire to learn to get through the heavy parts of the book. The story allows you to see this tragic conflict/genocide from a relationship point of view- what was going on behind the scenes between father and daughter, women and how we treat each other, enemies that end up helping each other, and of course the love that grows between Elizabeth and Armen, oh yes there is a love story in this book too.
This is the second book I have read by author Chris Bohjalian. A few years ago I read Midwives, which I would also highly recommend. Bohjalian’s style is sophisticated for my standards (gulp Hunger Games), but I enjoy reading a well written book and should make it more of a habit, especially a book that makes you think and learn about a world you might not know much about.
Disclosure: I was provided The Sand Castle Girls by Knopf Doubleday Publishing in order to review. All opinions are 100% my own.