The Sandcastle Girls ( CD)
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From the Publisher:
Presents the parallel stories of a young woman who falls in love with an Armenian soldier while aiding victims of the Armenian genocide in the early twentieth century, and a young woman who researches her Armenian heritage and discovers a terrible familysecret.A historical love story inspired by the author's Armenian heritage finds early 20th-century nurse Elizabeth Endicott arriving in Syria to help deliver food and medical aid to genocide refugees, a volunteer service during which she exchanges letters with an Armenian engineer and widower. By the best-selling author of
Chris Bohjalian is the author of more than a dozen works of literary fiction, many of which have been categorized by critics as "issue novels," because of their focus on such important topics as homelessness, the environment, and the hazards of childbirth. Bohjalian's unusual last name is Armenian; his paternal grandparents were survivors of the genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman government around the time of World War I, and the massacres form the backdrop for his acclaimed 2012 novel, THE SANDCASTLE GIRLS. After graduating from Amherst College in 1982, Bohjalian, who had been discouraged from pursing a writing career by one particularly scornful professor, took a job at a New York City ad agency. In 1986, after a harrowing encounter with an irate cab driver, he and his wife, the photographer Victoria Blewer, decided to move to Vermont. They purchased a century-old clapboard home in the small town of Lincoln, and Bohjalian began writing a Burlington Free Press column, "Idyll Banter," about his new life. (The pieces were published in a book of the same name in 2003.) His first novel, the murder mystery A KILLING IN THE REAL WORLD, was published in 1988. His previously modest readership increased greatly upon the publication of his fifth book, MIDWIVES (1997), which was selected by Oprah Winfrey for her influential book club. Since then, Bohjalian's work has appeared regularly on bestseller lists, and he has won numerous literary honors, including the New England Book Award. MIDWIVES, PAST THE BLEACHERS (1992), and SECRETS OF EDEN (2010) have all been adapted into well-received films. Bohjalian credits his adopted home for much of his success. "Writers can talk with agonizing hubris about finding their voices, but for me, it was in Vermont that I discovered issues, things that matter to me," he told an interviewer. He explained that among his favorite quotes is one by Wendell Berry: "If you don't know where you are, you don't know who you are."
"A gruesome, unforgettable exposition of the still too-little-known facts of the Armenian genocide and its multigenerational consequences." (starred review) 05/15/2012 "Bohjalian--the grandson of Armenian survivors--pours passion, pride, and sadness into his tale of ethnic destruction and endurance." - Lisa Schwarzbaum 07/20/2012 "[The book] wraps the threads of a significant historic event around a deeply moving story of survival and enduring love." - Carol Memmott 07/16/2012