Chris Bohjalian’s 14th novel, The Sandcastle Girls, is a moving depiction of the tragedy of the Armenian Genocide told through the experiences of different people in Ottoman Empire in 1915.
The novel is a love story between Armen Petrosian, who survived Turkish atrocities, and Elizabeth Endicott, a Boston Brahmin who has traveled to Aleppo to perform relief work with her father. Nevertheless love is in the focus of the story the book is touching due to description of what happened to the Armenians during the genocide.
The novel touches upon present days through the musings of a novelist, Laura Petrosian, who explores her family’s history and 1915, through the story of her grandparents, the Armenian Weekly reports. When Laura’s friend tells her she saw a picture of her grandmother at an exhibition of photographs on the genocide, Laura starts searching to discover the link between her family and the genocide. These searches lead to the disclosure of a sad family secret. It is quite possible that Laura is Bohjalian’s another ego since the author and his heroine have the same background. Bohjalian is famous for writing on the part of female narrators, and he once again succeeds here in creating a book that is most successful when represented from the female perspective.