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Review first published on my blog: http://memoriesfrombooks.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-sandcastle-girls.html
The Sandcastle Girls is a story blending the present and the past. The present is the story of Laura Petrosian. She is a writer living with her family in New York. She is of Armenian descent, and a photograph in the newspaper sets her off on a journey through her family's past. The past is Elizabeth Endicott, a young woman who travels to Syria on a mission of mercy and falls in love with Armen, an Armenian man who has lost his family. The setting and background is the history of the Armenian genocide in the early 1900s.
I really wanted to like this book. The history it presents is not one often written about or talked about. Yet, it should be remembered.
Unfortunately, the book is difficult to get involved with. The story weaves back and forth across time, place, and point of view. The differences in the times, places, and points of view are so great that it makes it difficult to maintain the continuity of the story and especially the continuity of the building emotions.
Also, without giving a spoiler, I will say this. The ending was disappointing. It seemed somewhat related to the history being presented in that without these events, this story would not happened. However, it seemed more to be about timing and an individual decision. It made me sad, but it detracted from what the emotions of the book were all about.
I am glad for this book for the history it brings to light. I wish it had been in a more engaging way.