ELLEN SUSSMAN / The Paradise Guest House
It starts as a trip to paradise. Sent on assignment to Bali, Jamie, an American adventure guide, imagines spending weeks exploring the island’s lush jungles and pristine white sand beaches. Yet three days after her arrival, she is caught in Bali’s infamous nightclub bombings, which irreparably change her life and leave her with many unanswered questions.
One year later, haunted by memories, Jamie returns to Bali seeking a sense of closure. Most of all, she hopes to find Gabe, the man who saved her from the attacks. She hasn’t been able to forget his kindness -- or the spark between them as he helped her heal. Checking into a cozy guest house for her stay, Jamie meets the kindly owner, who is coping with a painful past of his own, and a young boy who improbably becomes crucial to her search. Jamie has never shied away from a challenge, but a second chance with Gabe presents her with the biggest dilemma of all: whether she’s ready to open her heart.
Ellen Sussman is the author of the novels French Lessons and On a Night Like This, both national bestsellers. She’s the editor of two anthologies, Dirty Words: A Literary Encyclopedia Of Sex and Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave, and has published numerous essays in anthologies, including The Other Woman, and a dozen of her short stories have appeared in literary and commercial magazines. She has been awarded fellowships from The Napoule Art Foundation, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Ledig House, Ucross, Ragdale Foundation, Writers at Work, Wesleyan Writers Conference and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has taught at Pepperdine, UCLA and Rutgers University, and now teaches through Stanford Continuing Studies and in private classes.