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Chris Bohjalian is the author of eleven novels, including The Double Bind, Before You Know Kindness and The Buffalo Soldier. His novel Midwives was a Publisher Weekly "Best Book" and a selection of Oprah's Book Club. His work has been translated into twenty languages. In 2002, he won the New England Book Award for fiction.
He lives in Vermont with his wife and daughter.
Author Photo © Victoria Blewer
One woman's journey into her family's past reveals a shocking story that has never been told. 1915, Aleppo, Syria. When Elizabeth Endicott steps off the boat from Boston, armed only with a crash course in nursing, nothing could have prepared her for the atrocities she is about to face. For Aleppo is the arrival point for the hundreds of thousands of Armenians who have been forced to march out of Turkey and through the desert to die. There Elizabeth gets to know Armen, a young Armenian engineer who has already lost his wife and infant daughter in the Genocide. When Armen travels to Egypt to join the British army, he begins to write to Elizabeth, and slowly realizes that, unless he can find his way back to her, he risks becoming lost forever. Present day, New York. Laura Petrosian has never really given her Armenian heritage much thought until an old friend calls, claiming to have seen a photo of Laura's grandmother advertising a museum exhibition. As Laura embarks on a journey back through her family's history she'll find a tale of love, loss - and the hidden story of a nation in mourning.
August 2008 UK Debut of the Month. Chris Bohjalian’s UK debut is a haunting and beautifully written story set as the Second World War is ending. Anna is leaving East Prussia for the hope of a better life behind British or American lines, accompanied by the Scottish POW, her lover Callum, who has been working on her family’s land. Uri has escaped from the cattle cars carrying thousands of Jews to their deaths and meets Anna and Callum, disguising his identity. Constantly scared of discovery the group travel through war ravaged Europe. Bohjalian evokes the horrors and cruelty of war while showing the goodness in people that can come out of such atrocities. A very moving and powerful novel.
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERA WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLERA USA TODAY BESTSELLERA NATIONAL INDIEBOUND BESTSELLERFrom the author of The Guest Room, a powerful story about the ways an entire life can change in one night: A flight attendant wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man - and no idea what happened. Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hungover mornings. She's a binge drinker, her job with the airline making it easy to find adventure, and the occasional blackouts seem to be inevitable. She lives with them, and the accompanying self-loathing. When she awakes in a Dubai hotel room, she tries to piece the previous night back together, counting the minutes until she has to catch her crew shuttle to the airport. She quietly slides out of bed, careful not to aggravate her already pounding head, and looks at the man she spent the night with. She sees his dark hair. His utter stillness. And blood, a slick, still wet pool on the crisp white sheets. Afraid to call the police - she's a single woman alone in a hotel room far from home - Cassie begins to lie. She lies as she joins the other flight attendants and pilots in the van. She lies on the way to Paris as she works the first class cabin. She lies to the FBI agents in New York who meet her at the gate. Soon it's too late to come clean-or face the truth about what really happened back in Dubai. Could she have killed him? If not, who did? Set amid the captivating world of those whose lives unfold at forty thousand feet, The Flight Attendant unveils a spellbinding story of memory, of the giddy pleasures of alcohol and the devastating consequences of addiction, and of murder far from home.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Room comes a spine-tingling novel of lies, loss, and buried desirethe mesmerizing story of a wife and mother who vanishes from her bed late one night. When Annalee Ahlberg goes missing, her children fear the worst. Annalee is a sleepwalker whose affliction manifests in ways both bizarre and devastating. Once, she merely destroyed the hydrangeas in front of her Vermont home. More terrifying was the night her older daughter, Lianna, pulled her back from the precipice of the Gale River bridge. The morning of Annalee's disappearance, a search party combs the nearby woods. Annalee's husband, Warren, flies home from a business trip. Lianna is questioned by a young, hazel-eyed detective. And her little sister, Paige, takes to swimming the Gale to look for clues. When the police discover a small swatch of fabric, a nightshirt, ripped and hanging from a tree branch, it seems certain Annalee is dead, but Gavin Rikert, the hazel-eyed detective, continues to call, continues to stop by the Ahlbergs' Victorian home. As Lianna peels back the layers of mystery surrounding Annalee's disappearance, she finds herself drawn to Gavin, but she must ask herself: Why does the detective know so much about her mother? Why did Annalee leave her bed only when her father was away? And if she really died while sleepwalking, where was the body? Conjuring the strange and mysterious world of parasomnia, a place somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness, The Sleepwalker is a masterful novel from one of our most treasured storytellers.
This mesmerizing ebook original short storya prequel to The Sleepwalkerfrom Chris Bohjalian, bestselling author of The Sandcastle Girls and The Guest Room, tells the tale of one strange summer when a pair of horses die, an odd boy moves to a small Vermont town, and a woman rises from her bed and disappears into the night. Lianna Ahlberg is seventeen when a thunderstorm snaps a power line to the earth, electrifying the ground, the rain spreading the current like wildfire across the wet grass. Two horses are killed in the nearby field, unnerving the neighbors, upsetting the peculiar boy who has just moved in, and filling Lianna with a deep and abiding sense of dread. This is not the first unusual thing to happen that summera summer when Lianna's mother begins to sleepwalk in the smallest hours of morningand it will not be the last.
This mesmerizing original short storya prequel toThe Sleepwalkerfrom Chris Bohjalian, bestselling author ofThe Sandcastle GirlsandThe Guest Room,tells the tale of one strange summer when a pair of horses die, an odd boy moves to a small Vermont town, and a woman rises from her bed and disappears into the night. Lianna Ahlberg is seventeen when a thunderstorm snaps a power line to the earth, electrifying the ground, the rain spreading the current like wildfire across the wet grass. Two horses are killed in the nearby field, unnerving the neighbors, upsetting the peculiar boy who has just moved in, and filling Lianna with a deep and abiding sense of dread. This is not the first unusual thing to happen that summera summer when Lianna's mother begins to sleepwalk in the smallest hours of morningand it will not be the last.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Midwives and The Sandcastle Girls comes the spellbinding tale of a party gone horribly wrong: two men lie dead in a suburban living room, two women are on the run from police, and a marriage is ripping apart at the seams. When Kristin Chapman agrees to let her husband, Richard, host his brother's bachelor party, she expects a certain amount of debauchery. She brings their young daughter to Manhattan for the evening, leaving her Westchester home to the men and their hired entertainment. What she does not expect is this: bacchanalian drunkenness, her husband sharing a dangerously intimate moment in the guest room, and two women stabbing and killing their Russian bodyguards before driving off into the night. In the aftermath, Kristin and Richard's life rapidly spirals into nightmare. The police throw them out of their home, now a crime scene, Richard's investment banking firm puts him on indefinite leave, and Kristin is unsure if she can forgive her husband for the moment he shared with a dark-haired girl in the guest room. But the dark-haired girl, Alexandra, faces a much graver danger. In one breathless, violent night, she is free, running to escape the police who will arrest her and the gangsters who will kill her in a heartbeat. A captivating, chilling story about shame and scandal, The Guest Room is a riveting novel from one of our greatest storytellers.
A heartbreaking, wildly inventive, and moving novel narrated by a teenage runaway, from the bestselling author ofMidwivesandThe Sandcastle Girls.Close Your Eyes, Hold Handsis the story of Emily Shepard, a homeless teen living in an igloo made of ice and trash bags filled with frozen leaves. Half a year earlier, a nuclear plant in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom had experienced a cataclysmic meltdown, and both of Emily's parents were killed. Devastatingly, her father was in charge of the plant, and the meltdown may have been his fault. Was he drunk when it happened? Thousands of people are forced to flee their homes in the Kingdom; rivers and forests are destroyed; and Emily feels certain that as the daughter of the most hated man in America, she is in danger. So instead of following the social workers and her classmates after the meltdown, Emily takes off on her own for Burlington, where she survives by stealing, sleeping on the floor of a drug dealer's apartment, and inventing a new identity for herself -- an identity inspired by her favorite poet, Emily Dickinson. When Emily befriends a young homeless boy named Cameron, she protects him with a ferocity she didn't know she had. But she still can't outrun her past, can't escape her grief, can't hide foreverand so she comes up with the only plan that she can.A story of loss, adventure, and the search for friendship in the wake of catastrophe,Close Your Eyes, Hold Handsis one of Chris Bohjalian's finest novels to datebreathtaking, wise, and utterly transporting.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Midwives and The Sandcastle Girls comes a spellbinding novel of love, despair, and revengeset in war-ravaged Tuscany. 1943: Tucked away in the idyllic hills south of Florence, the Rosatis, an Italian family of noble lineage, believe that the walls of their ancient villa will keep them safe from the war raging across Europe. Eighteen-year-old Cristina spends her days swimming in the pool, playing with her young niece and nephew, and wandering aimlessly amid the estate's gardens and olive groves. But when two soldiers, a German and an Italian, arrive at the villa asking to see an ancient Etruscan burial site, the Rosatis' bucolic tranquility is shattered. A young German lieutenant begins to court Cristina, the Nazis descend upon the estate demanding hospitality, and what was once their sanctuary becomes their prison. 1955: Serafina Bettini, an investigator with the Florence police department, has her own demons. A beautiful woman, Serafina carefully hides her scars along with her haunting memories of the war. But when she is assigned to a gruesome new casea serial killer targeting the Rosatis, murdering the remnants of the family one-by-one in cold bloodSerafina finds herself digging into a past that involves both the victims and her own tragic history. Set against an exquisitely rendered Italian countryside, The Light in the Ruins unveils a breathtaking story of moral paradox, human frailty, and the mysterious ways of the heart.
Over the course of his career, New York Times bestselling novelist Chris Bohjalian has taken readers on a spectacular array of journeys. Midwives brought us to an isolated Vermont farmhouse on an icy winter's night and a home birth gone tragically wrong. The Double Bind perfectly conjured the Roaring Twenties on Long Islandand a young social worker's descent into madness. And Skeletons at the Feast chronicled the last six months of World War Two in Poland and Germany with nail-biting authenticity. As The Washington Post Book World has noted, Bohjalian writes ';the sorts of books people stay awake all night to finish.'In his fifteenth book, The Sandcastle Girls, he brings us on a very different kind of journey. This spellbinding tale travels between Aleppo, Syria, in 1915 and Bronxville, New York, in 2012a sweeping historical love story steeped in the author's Armenian heritage, making it his most personal novel to date.When Elizabeth Endicott arrives in Syria, she has a diploma from Mount Holyoke College, a crash course in nursing, and only the most basic grasp of the Armenian language. The First World War is spreading across Europe, and she has volunteered on behalf of the Boston-based Friends of Armenia to 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 to join the British Army in Egypt, 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.Flash forward to the present, 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, lossand a wrenching secret that has been buried for generations.
From the bestselling author of The Double Bind, Skeletons at the Feast, and Secrets of Eden, comes a riveting and dramatic ghost story.In a dusty corner of a basement in a rambling Victorian house in northern New Hampshire, a door has long been sealed shut with 39 six-inch-long carriage bolts. The home's new owners are Chip and Emily Linton and their twin ten-year-old daughters. Together they hope to rebuild their lives there after Chip, an airline pilot, has to ditch his 70-seat regional jet in Lake Champlain after double engine failure. Unlike the Miracle on the Hudson, however, most of the passengers aboard Flight 1611 die on impact or drown. The body count? Thirty-nine a coincidence not lost on Chip when he discovers the number of bolts in that basement door. Meanwhile, Emily finds herself wondering about the women in this sparsely populated White Mountain village self-proclaimed herbalists and their interest in her fifth-grade daughters. Are the women mad? Or is it her husband, in the wake of the tragedy, whose grip on sanity has become desperately tenuous?The result is a poignant and powerful ghost story with all the hallmarks readers have come to expect from bestselling novelist Chris Bohjalian: a palpable sense of place, an unerring sense of the demons that drive us, and characters we care about deeply. The difference this time? Some of those characters are dead.From the Hardcover edition.
From the bestselling author of The Double Bind, Midwives, and Skeletons at the Feast comes a novel of shattered faith, intimate secrets, and the delicate nature of sacrifice."e;There,"e; says Alice Hayward to Reverend Stephen Drew, just after her baptism, and just before going home to the husband who will kill her that evening and then shoot himself. Drew, tortured by the cryptic finality of that short utterance, feels his faith in God slipping away and is saved from despair only by a meeting with Heather Laurent, the author of wildly successful, inspirational books about . . . angels.Heather survived a childhood that culminated in her own parents' murder-suicide, so she identifies deeply with Alice's daughter, Katie, offering herself as a mentor to the girl and a shoulder for Stephen who flees the pulpit to be with Heather and see if there is anything to be salvaged from the spiritual wreckage around him.But then the State's Attorney begins to suspect that Alice's husband may not have killed himself. . .and finds out that Alice had secrets only her minister knew.Secrets of Eden is both a haunting literary thriller and a deeply evocative testament to the inner complexities that mark all of our lives. Once again Chris Bohjalian has given us a riveting page-turner in which nothing is precisely what it seems. As one character remarks, ';Believe no one. Trust no one. Assume all of our stories are suspect.'From the Hardcover edition.