“Chris Bohjalian is at his very finest in this searing story of love and war. I was mesmerized from page one. Bravo!”
— Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife
Dear Friends Who Read and Readers Who are Friends,
I hope your summers are off to a wondrous start. Certainly mine has been, enhanced by terrific new books from John Grisham (Calico Joe), John Irving (In One Person), and Maggie Shipstead (Seating Arrangements). And, of course, there are the new paperbacks of Maine (J. Courtney Sullivan) and The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern).
And thanks to Fifty Shades of Grey (E.L. James), people are no longer just reading in bed, they’re. . .
In any case, roughly three weeks from today my new novel, The Sandcastle Girls, arrives. I know in my heart this is the most important book I will ever write – and the most personal. Truly. I knew this when I was in Armenia and Lebanon earlier this year, with photos of my late father and grandparents on my iPhone for company.
The book is a love story set in the midst of the Armenian Genocide in the First World War, and it has three of my favorite fictional heroines I’ve ever spent time with in my work: 22-year-old Elizabeth Endicott, Mount Holyoke Class of 1915; Nevart, a doctor’s wife who has endured the worst the Syrian desert can offer; and Hatoun, a quiet, watchful, and intense little girl.
The early reviews have thrilled me:
“Bohjalian powerfully narrates an intricately nuanced romance with a complicated historical event at the forefront. With the centennial of the Armenian genocide fast approaching, this is not to be missed. Simply astounding.”
— Julie Kane, Library Journal (starred review)
“Bohjalian’s storytelling makes this a beautiful, frightening, and unforgettable read.”
— Publishers’ Weekly
“An unforgettable exposition of the still too-little-known facts of the Armenian genocide and its multigenerational consequences.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A powerful and moving story based on real events seldom discussed. It will leave you reeling.”
— Elizabeth Dickie, Booklist
“The Sandcastle Girls will remain ingrained in your consciousness.”
— Wendy Plotkin, The Armenian Weekly
You can learn more about the novel – and watch a :30 video trailer or read an excerpt — here
And, of course, you can preorder a copy at your local bookstore or from any of the online sources.
But I may also be coming to your city or town. Beginning in Los Angeles, California on July 16 and ending in Montpelier, Vermont on August 7, The Sandcastle Girls rock-and-roll book tour will be coming to 22 venues in 14 states. (Fear not: There will again be rock-and-roll t-shirts.)
I hope I see many of you at these appearances – and I hope with all my heart that you spend a part of your summer with The Sandcastle Girls.
All the best,
“The Sandcastle Girls is deft, layered, eye-opening, and riveting. I was deeply moved.”
— Wally Lamb, author of The Hour I First Believed