Book: The Sandcastle Girls
Author: Chris Bohjalian
Recommend: A good but tough read.
I got this one as an early reader’s copy and wasn’t sure that I was looking forward to reading it, but it was fiction based on a time I was not familiar with and thought it might make me want to do more research into a new topic. Set during World War I, this book depicts the horrible conditions for Armenians during the genocide. It tells the story of a young American woman named Elizabeth who meets an intense grieving widow name Armen. They quickly fall in love but he is sent to the front to fight the war.
While the love story is interesting, the horrors of what happened to the Armenian people is the real story. It reminded me quite a bit of reading about what happened to people in the concentration camps during WWII. I had never heard about this even and now I need to go spend some time learning about it. I know plenty about many other recent wars but World War I is an area where I am woefully lacking.
I think the only negative I might have to say about this book is that it does seem to slow and drag in the middle. I know that the author is attempting to set the reader up for the ending but I can’t help and think that the author could have done it faster and in a way that didn’t bog down the story. Once I hit Part 3, the story spend right back up towards the climax but there are certain section in the middle that just don’t move quickly.
This book does have some adult themes and is probably not appropriate for most kids. It also contains some trigger issues that might cause some issues for those sensitive to certain issues.