I have been asked often this month what my next novel, “The Sandcastle Girls,” is about. It arrives in bookstores, libraries, and eReaders on July 17.
So, here is what the Doubleday catalog says.
Doubleday welcomes New York Times bestselling author Chris Bohjalian to its list with a new novel as powerful and emotionally resonant as Midwives. This new book, a sweeping historical love story, is steeped in the author’s Armenian heritage – a subject his legions of fans have been asking him to write about for years.
When Elizabeth Endicott arrives in Aleppo, Syria she has a diploma from Mount Holyoke, a crash course in nursing, and only the most basic grasp of the Armenian language. The year is 1915 and she has volunteered on behalf of the Boston-based Friends of Armenia to help deliver food and medical aid to refugees of the Armenian genocide. There Elizabeth becomes friendly with Armen, a young Armenian engineer who has already lost his wife and infant daughter. When Armen leaves Aleppo and travels south into Egypt to join the British army, he begins to write Elizabeth letters, and comes to realize that he has fallen in love with the wealthy, young American woman who is so different from the wife he lost.
Fast forward to the present day, where we meet Laura Petrosian, a novelist living in suburban New York. Although her grandparents’ ornate Pelham home was affectionately nicknamed “The Ottoman Annex,” Laura has never really given her Armenian heritage much thought. But when an old friend calls, claiming to have seen a newspaper photo of Laura’s grandmother promoting an exhibit at a Boston museum, Laura embarks on a journey back through her family’s history that reveals love, loss – and a wrenching secret that has been buried for generations.
To preorder the book, click here.