THE SANDCASTLE GIRLS – BOOK REVIEW
Commentary No : 2012 / 96
20.12.2012
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Hazel ÇAĞAN ELBİR

Analyst, AVİM

20.12.2012

Author: Chris Bohjalian, Doubleday, New York, 2012, 320 pages

A well-known and bestseller Midwives' author Chris Bohjalian has released his latest novel entitled The Sandcastle Girls on July 2012. The reader would be well advised to start reading the book from reverse in order to have an idea of what the novel is about. The suggestion is to start with the "author's note" and "acknowledgments" that follow the ending of the novel.

There are two reasons for this. The first reason is that in the "author's note", the author admits candidly that he has no affinity with the theme of the book. Furthermore, so as to write this novel, he expressed that he read the available stories based on the Armenian allegations. However, the most crucial point is the indication of the nearing centennial of the 1915 events. It is understood that the author was encouraged to write this novel with a view to serving Armenian propaganda.

The second noteworthy reason is the "acknowledgments" part where he lists the extent of his sources of reference, all notorious anti-Turkish publications of Armenian claims and allegations. Despite his Armenian heritage, he does not forgo his American fairness by revealing his biased references. The author should be appreciated for his honesty.

Bohjalian does not try to hide why he wrote this book. As the books of his reference are considered, it is to be seen why Bohjalian is a successful author. In the light of these consulted books, he wrote a comparatively moderate novel. With this input, one cannot expect or hope another outcome. Even though he tried to balance the book by giving room to the Turkish characters within the novel, the author’s avoidance of indicating the difficulties that the Turkish people were subjected to in 1915 and the absence of the Turkish sources are serious deficiencies making the novel biased and propagandistic. The author subtly indicates that this novel is undertaken for a certain date.


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