Posts tagged Chris Bohjalian
Midwives by Chris Bohjalian

Across the landscape of his career, author Chris Bohjalian has written novels about a murderer's plight against a privileged family in World War II Italy, about a young social worker driven into Jazz Age Long Island by a homeless man's photographs, of an American woman's love for an Armenian man in early-twentieth century Syria, and more. In his contemporary classic, Midwives, he tells the unforgettable story of midwife Sibyl Danforth and a home birth gone tragically wrong. Narrated by Sibyl’s fourteen year-old daughter Connie, Midwives is a chilling and evocative account of what one woman will endure for the sake of protecting her name and standing by her choices.

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The Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian

Florence in 1943 is radiating calm before a storm, entirely at the disposal of its German allies whose soldiers spill across the Tuscan hillside with abandon, commandeering art and artifacts as they go. Gradually receiving the brunt of the Nazis' focus are the Rosatis, a family of Italian nobility, and their idyllic estate, Villa Chimera. Here lives eighteen year-old Cristina Rosati, who exists in an otherwise blissful ignorance away from the tragedies of the war until she embarks on a love affair with a young Nazi officer that will ultimately lead her family on a treacherous downward spiral. Branded as traitors for hosting the Nazis, the Rosati family is left to witness their own fall from grace - if they manage to survive the war. Ten years later, police detective Serafina Bettini is investigating the gruesome serial murders of the remaining members of the Rosati family. She’s desperate to solve the mystery before the killer reaches the youngest of the Rosatis: Cristina. As Serafina's investigation leads her further into the scandal of Villa Chimera and its wartime downfall, she realizes that she herself may have ties to the victims, and maybe even to the killer.

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The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian

Laurel Estabrook is a young social worker in Vermont living under the weight of a horrific experience: she was viciously attacked one evening on a bike ride through a northern wood. With the emotional scars still suffocating her seven years later, Laurel immerses herself predominantly in her work securing safe and comfortable residencies for the homeless. But when her job brings her into contact with an elderly and schizophrenic homeless man named Bobbie Crocker, her life changes in ways she never would have expected. After Bobbie’s death she discovers he had possessed a remarkable collection of photography; negatives that he himself had taken throughout his career as a talented and notable photographer from the late ’50s into the ‘70s and beyond. The photos lead Laurel into the truth of Bobbie’s past, a truth that some people will go to great lengths to keep secret: namely Bobbie’s ties to the infamous history of two Jazz Age socialites from Laurel’s Long Island hometown. Thwarted by Bobbie’s last surviving relatives and questioned even by her closest friends, Laurel is on a race to prove the weight of Bobbie’s legacy once and for all.

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The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian

In 1915 Elizabeth Endicott, a spirited young American, arrives with her father in Aleppo, Syria, as part of a Boston-based organization whose mission is to aid the struggling survivors of the harrowing Armenian genocide. Amid the throes of World War I, hundreds of thousands of Armenians are being quietly massacred and, stationed at the American consulate in Aleppo, Elizabeth finds herself a rare witness to the tragic circumstances of a civilization being driven out of its own existence. As Turkish soldiers and gendarmes briefly usher in the barely-living women and children who have survived thus far, Elizabeth and her comrades do their best to administer food and medicine and otherwise preserve the preciously frail lives. During her plight she meets Armen, a young Armenian man spared the swift death so many have suffered by working as an engineer for the Germans. Armen has carried the weight of his share of suffering, however, having lost his wife and daughter to the genocide. As Elizabeth and Armen work to overcome the terrors of the world around them they find a connection neither had expected, and their love grows strong even after they’re driven apart.

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