Friday, April 5, 2013

Review: The Sandcastle Girls

The Sandcastle GirlsThe Sandcastle Girls
by Chris Bohjalian

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The story of the Armenian genocide that is the subject of this book is powerful and important and should be told in a way that pulls it out of history and into a human context where it can be understood and recognized. This book doesn't do that. There are passages here and there, all in the "historical" parts, that approach what this book could have been. Unfortunately they are outnumbered by passages that seem more like a romance novel than a serious work of literary fiction. "An unexpected tremor of happiness ripples along his spine. As if she can sense it, she takes two fingers on her free hand and runs them over his cheek. 'Promise me,' she says, 'if you ever get a scar here, it will only be from an ice skate.'" (p. 52) Bleh! Then there is the contemporary story of the woman presumably writing this book. It is flippant, ridiculous, and intrudes on the action way too often with pop-up history lectures.

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