I loved this fictional account of the Armenian genocide. I hadn't read anything by this author but have since downloaded several of his books. I love good historical fiction! Excellent book!
I've read other books by Chris Bohjalian and enjoyed them. This wasn't much different. I was unaware of the Armenian genocide before picking this book up, and I believe I know a lot more now. My only beef with this book was how old the second narrator sounded. It drove me nuts earlier on in the book when you're seeing her story through the eyes of a teen, but ultimately she is supposed to be a 45 year old woman. I eventually got over it, but it was like nails on a chalkboard at first.
The story was interesting although I felt as if it was a man trying to sound like a woman. I didn't care for the first person narrative in the present of Lauren P. I continued to listen because I was moved by Elizabeth's tale. I found the performers EXTREMELY distracting to the point where I almost quit listening several times. One of the ladies pronunciations is acutely pronounced to the point it seemed when she said any word ending in an"s", it would cause your ears to want to bleed.
Bohjalian's vivid descriptions are timeless and the reader learns about the outrageous horrors of 1915 through the relatable dialogues of his compelling characters. It is challenging to learn about the inhumane personal accounts of Armenians. This book was fast moving and oral telling was great.
I have learned so much fascinating history through my 500+ audiobooks! One book leads me to another and then ties in with something I listened to 40 books a Good! Soon I'll be able to pass high school history at age 60!
I am just getting to Know Bohjalian as an author. I am not overly enthused with this book or Midwives that I read previously but not willing to give up further books by him. As an Armenian my family is always on the lookout for stories of our heritage. The Armenian genocide has been kept silent, as noted in this story. So maybe one has to be Armenian to connect to this tale. My grandparents were already in this country when the events of this book occurred. But they left knowing it was coming. Other family members and certainly friends did not escape as they had.
The characters develop well. The premise of a "crash course" in nursing doesn't ring true (especially as I teach nursing) for today, but it may have in 1915. But that is not an essential part of the story. The essential part is the love story. Two people meet and have an instant attraction. They are separated, struggle to get back together, and have horrific experiences during that time. In modern times, the granddaughter struggles to find the truth. And what a truth she discovers. Altogether, it is a beautiful story.
Did I stay up all night to finish it? No. Is this book one of my absolute overall favorites? No. Is it a worthwhile purchase? Yes. The story is important to be told. The narration was well done. The mini-stories of the minor characters definitely add to it all.
The modern-day characters seemed too stock and didn't add as much to the tale as the historical ones did. I also felt the author wrote in the voice of a woman to invoke more sympathy in the reader - it didn't work.
I like this genre but will probably stay away from this author.
The narration was good; it didn't intrude on the story at all which sometimes occurs.
I would cut most of the modern-day portions of the novel. The tale is really the Armenian genocide and I was disappointed when the story moved back to modern times. I didn't care about the spoiled girl who became an indulged middle class wife - she was unappealing and a tough narrator for me.
I never quite understood the purpose of the title. Seems like another inside joke the author was having on his readers.
I love Historical fiction and this book covers a horrific little known story. Breaking the book between current time and historical time makes the book easier to read.
The story line of the Historical events of 1915
No, but I thought her performance was excellent.
The history lesson was great. I love books that, after I finish, have me researching more about the topic. With The Sandcastle Girls I walked away feeling like I had learned something new.
There were parts where I was a little lost as to who was who, exactly. There were some characters who had potential, but were never fully developed and others that were developed more than they needed to be.
I purchased this book since I enjoyed "Midwives" so much, but I don't think this one had the same punch. I felt like nothing ever "new" really happened. The story was told, but the fictional characters weren't overly interesting. The ending was anti-climatic.