Publication Party, Reading, & Signing
Tuesday, July 24th @ 6pm
About Gwen Florio's Silent Hearts:
For fans of A Thousand Splendid Suns comes a stirring novel set in Afghanistan about two women--an American aid worker and her local interpreter--who form an unexpected friendship despite their utterly different life experiences and the ever-increasing violence that surrounds them in Kabul.
In 2001, Kabul is suddenly a place of possibility as people fling off years of repressive Taliban rule. This hopeful chaos brings together American aid worker Liv Stoellner and Farida Basra, an educated Pakistani woman still adjusting to her arranged marriage to Gul, the son of an Afghan strongman whose family spent years of exile in Pakistan before returning to Kabul.
Both Liv and her husband take positions at an NGO that helps Afghan women recover from the Taliban years. They see the move as a reboot--Martin for his moribund academic career, Liv for their marriage. But for Farida and Gul, the move to Kabul is fraught, severing all ties with Farida's family and her former world, and forcing Gul to confront a chapter in his life he'd desperately tried to erase.
The two women, brought together by Farida's work as an interpreter, form a nascent friendship based on their growing mutual love for Afghanistan, though Liv remains unaware that Farida is reporting information about the Americans' activities to Gul's family, who have ties to the black market. As the bond between Farida and Liv deepens, war-scarred Kabul acts in different ways upon them, as well as their husbands.
Silent Hearts is an absorbing, complex portrayal of two very different but equally resilient women caught in the conflict of a war that will test them in ways they never imagined.
About Melissa Stephenson's Driven:
Growing up in a blue-collar family in the Midwest, Melissa Stephenson longed for escape. Her wanderlust was an innate reaction to the powerful personalities around her, and came too from her desire to find a place in the world where her artistic ambitions wouldn’t be thwarted. She found in automobiles the promise of a future beyond Indiana state lines.
From a lineage of secondhand family cars of the late ’60s, to the Honda that carried her from Montana to Texas as her new marriage disintegrated, to the ’70s Ford she drove away from her brother’s house after he took his life (leaving Melissa the truck, a dog, and a few mixed tapes), to the VW van she now uses to take her kids camping, she knows these cars better than she knows some of the people closest to her. Driven away from grief, and toward hope, Melissa reckons with what it means to lose a beloved sibling.
Driven is a powerful story of healing, for all who have had to look back at pain to see how they can now move forward.