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About Patti Callahan Henry
A finalist in the Townsend Prize for Fiction, an Indie Next Pick, an OKRA pick, and a multiple nominee for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Novel of the Year, Patti is published in nine languages. Her articles and essays have appeared in Southern Living, PINK, Writer's Digest, Birmingham Magazine and more. Patti is a frequent speaker and luncheons, book clubs and women's groups.
Growing up in Philadelphia as the daughter of a Presbyterian minister, Patti learned early the value of storytelling. At the age of twelve, her family moved to South Florida where Patti found the sanctuary of libraries and began her slow but steady journey into understanding the power of story to navigate confusing times in life.
Patti attended Auburn University for her undergraduate work, and Georgia State University for her graduate degree. Once a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, she now writes full time. The mother of three children, she now lives in both Mountain Brook, Alabama and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband.
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Bonny Blankenship’s most treasured memories are of idyllic summers spent in Watersend, South Carolina, with her best friend, Lainey McKay. Amid the sand dunes and oak trees draped with Spanish moss, they swam and wished for happy-ever-afters, then escaped to the local bookshop to read and whisper in the glorious cool silence. Until the night that changed everything, the night that Lainey’s mother disappeared.
Now, in her early fifties, Bonny is desperate to clear her head after a tragic mistake threatens her career as an emergency room doctor, and her marriage crumbles around her. With her troubled teenage daughter, Piper, in tow, she goes back to the beloved river house, where she is soon joined by Lainey and her two young children. During lazy summer days and magical nights, they reunite with bookshop owner Mimi, who is tangled with the past and its mysteries. As the three women cling to a fragile peace, buried secrets and long ago loves return like the tide.
READERS GUIDE INSIDE
Bestselling author Patti Callahan Henry is back with
a powerful novel about the stories we tell and the people we trust.
Eve and Cooper Morrison are Savannah's power couple. They're on every artistic board and deeply involved in the community. She owns and operates a letterpress studio specializing in the handmade; he runs a digital magazine featuring all things southern gentlemen. The perfect juxtaposition of the old and the new, Eve and Cooper are the beautiful people. The lucky ones. And they have the wealth and name that comes from being part of an old Georgia family.
But things may not be as good as they seem.
Eve's sister, Willa, is staying with the family until she gets "back on her feet." Their daughter, Gwen, is all adolescent rebellion. And Cooper thinks Eve works too much. Still, the Morrison marriage is strong. After twenty-one years together, Eve and Cooper know each other. They count on each other. They know what to expect. But when Cooper and Willa are involved in a car accident, the questions surrounding the event bring the family close to breaking point. Sifting between the stories—what Cooper says, what Willa remembers, what the evidence indicates—Eve has to find out what really happened. And what she's going to do about it.A riveting story about the power of truth, The Stories we Tell will open your eyes and rearrange your heart.
Ten years ago, Lena Donohue experienced a wedding-day betrayal so painful that she fled the small town of Watersend, South Carolina, and reinvented herself in New York City. Though now a freelance travel writer, the one place she rarely goes is home—until she learns of her dad’s failing health.
Returning to Watersend means seeing the sister she has avoided for a decade and the brother who runs the family’s Irish pub and has borne the burden of his sisters’ rift. While Alzheimer’s slowly steals their father’s memories, the siblings rush to preserve his life in stories and in photographs. As his secret past brings Lena’s own childhood into focus, it sends her on a journey to discover the true meaning of home.
Like most mothers, Amy Reynolds has anticipated the moment when her son brings home his first serious girlfriend. But she’s shocked to meet the girl’s father. Nick Lowry was the college boyfriend who captivated her heart and soul and then, without a word of explanation or warning, disappeared. She still wonders what took him away from her.
Amy’s marriage is satisfying, her teenage children thriving. She loves her beautifully restored home and her work teaching at the local college. She has long since buried her memories of Nick. But now that he is back in her life, she can’t help recalling the beach where they pledged their destinies together twenty years ago. She can’t help missing the young woman she was then, full of passion and promise. And she can’t help being tempted by the life she might have lived...might still live—even though making that choice would betray all she holds dear.
Nine months after her father's death, Catherine Leary still hasn't fulfilled his last wish: that she scatter his ashes in the Seaboro River in South Carolina. The scene of a childhood tragedy that forced her family to move, Seaboro is the last place Catherine wants to see again. But on the evening of her thirtieth birthday, her father’s young colleague—whom she once dated—pays a visit...
Hoping to stop Forrest Anderson from exposing her family's secrets, she travels to her once-beloved Lowcountry town and embarks on a poignant trip into the past...a journey that might lead her into a new life of love, forgiveness, and self-discovery.
On the coast of Alabama, there is a house cloaked in mystery, a place that reveals the truth and changes lives...
Ellie Calvin is caught in a dying marriage, and she knows this. With her beloved daughter away at college and a growing gap between her and her husband – between her reality and the woman she wants to be – she doesn't quite seem to fit into her own life.
But everything changes after her controlling mother, Lillian, passes away. Ellie's world turns upside down when she sees her ex-boyfriend, Hutch, at her mother's funeral and learns that he is in charge of a documentary that involved Lillian before her death. He wants answers to questions that Ellie's not sure she can face, until, in the painful midst of going through her mother's things, she discovers a hidden diary – and a window onto stories buried long ago.
As Ellie and Hutch start speaking for the first time in years, Ellie's closed heart slowly begins to open. Fighting their feelings, they set out together to dig into Lillian's history. Using both the diary and a trip to the Summer House, a mysterious and seductive bayside home, they gamble that they can work together and not fall in love again. But in piecing together a decades-old unrequited-love story, they just might uncover the secrets in their own hearts…
Twenty-seven-year-old Kara Larson is bogged down in the stress of planning her elaborate wedding to a professional golfer. Still, to fulfill the requirements of the Palmetto Pointe Junior Society, she makes time in her busy schedule to visit an elderly woman at a nursing home facility. Soon she finds herself mesmerized by the singsong Irish lilt of ninety-six-year-old Maeve Mahoney as Maeve recounts the rambling story of her first love back in Ireland. Or, Kara begins to wonder, is she really retelling an ancient tale of myth and legend? Waiting for the story to unfold in bits and pieces, and trying to discern the underlying truth, Kara is drawn in—and driven to remember her own first love: childhood neighbor Jack Sullivan. Gradually she realizes that before she embarks on her new life, she must find out how her own story—with Jack—will end.
“About all the things that make us worthy as human beings—integrity, honesty, and living the life you are meant to live.…A triumph!”—Dorothea Benton Frank
“A passionate, unforgettable novel of self-discovery, regret, and the illuminating power of love.”—Mary Alice Monroe
Since a solo plane crash killed her husband two years ago, Annabelle Murphy has found solace in raising her two children. Just when she thinks the grief is behind her, she receives the news that the wreckage of the plane has been discovered—and that her husband did not die alone. He was with another woman. Suddenly Annabelle is forced to question everything she once held true.
Sofie Milstead knows the woman who was on that plane. A dolphin researcher who has lived a quiet life, Sofie has never let anyone get too close. But when Annabelle shows up on Sofie’s doorstep full of painful questions, both women must confront their intertwining pasts—and find the courage they need to face the truth...
We’ve all played the “what if” game. For forty-year-old Mia Jensen, “what if” is a fact of life. Dissatisfied with her choices, she often dreams about what could have been. Now she has the chance to know. But that knowledge will cost her dearly. Only through death can she fully realize the value of her life.
After a terrible day, trying to figure out how she’s come to this point—alone, on the cusp of divorce––Mia hears a strange noise in her kitchen. When she investigates, she is attacked and left for dead. As Mia dies, she experiences some of the lives that could have been hers had she only made a different choice.
Can one woman find peace with the path she’s chosen before it slips through her fingers forever?
Through the unique voices of New York Times bestsellers and rising stars in women’s fiction, A THOUSAND DOORS examines how our smallest decisions create lasting effects, and asks the ultimate question—can we actually change our lives?
Patti Callahan Henry
In the small seaside town of Palmetto Beach, the Sheffield sisters—responsible Riley, vivacious Maisy-Rose, and fun-loving Adelee—reunite to save the family's beach-community bookstore. But summer also marks the return of Mack Logan, whose choice of Maisy over Riley years ago destroyed the special closeness between the sisters...
Now Riley, a single mom, is hiding a shattering secret about their mother. Maisy, a California designer, still blames Riley for ruining her one true love. And Adalee resents the family's intrusion into her summer plans. All three will be forced to confront the conflicts that tore them apart and the bounds of love and loyalty that still draw them together...
Meridy Dresden was once a free-spirited, fun-loving girl. All that changed when the boy she loved was killed in a tragic fire. Since then, she alone has carried the burden of a terrible secret. Now, years later, married to a wonderful man and mother of a teenage son, she is shocked to learn that a childhood friend is being blamed for that long-ago fire. Fearful but determined, Meridy returns to the South Carolina Lowcountry and summons the courage to make a decision that may destroy her well-ordered life, her family’s reputation, her contented marriage, and everything she’s worked so hard to protect…including her heart.
“Brilliant. Powerful. Magical. Do not miss this book.”—New York Times bestselling author Haywood Smith