The Sandcastle Girls
By Chris Bohjalian
Doubleday, 2012. 299 pgs. Historical Fiction
In 1915, Elizabeth Endicott decided to leave her home in Boston and travel with her father to Aleppo, Syria. Their mission was to aid the refugees fleeing from the Armenian genocide. What they found was a nightmare of death and torment far beyond anything they could have imagined. But amid the despair and violence, Elizabeth also found friendship and love. Friendship with an Armenian woman Elizabeth rescues from the camps, and love with an Armenian engineer whose wife and child have disappeared somewhere in the desert.
The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian is a beautiful historical novel set during a period of history that few Americans are familiar with. Bohjalian's lovely prose and heart-wrenching story of loss is captivating. Elizabeth's story is narrated by her granddaughter, which gives it a very personal touch. Novels of World War II and the Holocaust abound in recent literature, but here is a chance for readers to learn more about another equally tragic period of world history.