August 31, 2013

Review | The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian

Author: Chris Bohjalian
Published: July 17, 2012
Publisher: Random House Audio
Format: Audiobook
Length:  11 hrs 9min
Genre: Adventure, Historical Fiction, Romance
Rating: ★★★

[Show Synopsis]

I'm kind of mad at myself for not writing this review earlier when I finished the book. I had a whole page of notes and comments about this book, and I can't find it. I think I must have left it in the book when I returned it to the library.

This book was somewhat of a shock to me. It was recommended to me by my Grandmother. I knew it was about a world war and since she is so interested in World War II, I thought it was going to be another escape the Nazis book, so I was really surprised to find out it was about World War I. Most people don't know too much about the first World War. The Holocaust is so publicized that they don't realize that the first World War also contained a genocide of massive proportions. As it was called in the book, "The Genocide You Know Almost Nothing About."

During the first World War, the Turkish government declared the Armenians a national security risk and forcibly drove them out of the country, into concentration camps, or just plain wiped them out. They were treated like dogs--hurt, abused, and abandoned. And there was precedent for what they did, which I found to be a shocking story and comparison.

All this was going on and not many knew about it and many don't know about it today. So how did they keep such a large operation underwraps? How do you kill so many people without anyone knowing? You do it in the middle of nowhere where no one can see or stumble across the evidence. In this case, in the middle of the desert.

Though fiction, this novel was filled with vivid scenes that made it seem more like a biography. The shock value that was weaved into the story was impressive making the story captivating and emotional. If you've never been exposed to much material about World War I, this would be a good place to start.

I've been getting more and more into audiobooks lately thanks to my busy days. The narrator for this did a wonderful job, though I'm not sure why Elizabeth had an accent that wasn't American. Aside from that, she gave each character an individual personality beyond the story so that you instantly knew who was talking without having to be told. If you can get the audiobook version, there is an interview with the author at the end that I highly recommend listening to. I find that most audiobooks are read too slow for my tastes, so I listened to this one at 1.4x and 1.5x speeds.

No comments:

Post a Comment