Chris Bohjalian Books In Order

Sleepwalker / Ahlberg Books In Publication Order

  1. The Premonition (2016)
  2. The Sleepwalker (2017)

Standalone Novels In Publication Order

  1. A Killing in the Real World (1988)
  2. Hangman (1991)
  3. Past the Bleachers (1992)
  4. Water Witches (1995)
  5. Midwives (1997)
  6. The Law of Similars (1998)
  7. Trans-Sister Radio (2000)
  8. The Buffalo Soldier (2002)
  9. Before You Know Kindness (2004)
  10. The Double Bind (2007)
  11. Skeletons at the Feast (2008)
  12. Secrets of Eden (2010)
  13. The Night Strangers (2011)
  14. The Sandcastle Girls (2012)
  15. The Light in the Ruins (2013)
  16. Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands (2014)
  17. The Guest Room (2016)
  18. The Flight Attendant (2018)
  19. The Red Lotus (2020)
  20. Hour of the Witch (2021)

Non-Fiction Books In Publication Order

  1. Idyll Banter (2003)

Standalone Plays In Publication Order

  1. Wingspan (2019)

Sleepwalker / Ahlberg Book Covers

Standalone Novels Book Covers

Non-Fiction Book Covers

Standalone Plays Book Covers

Chris Bohjalian Books Overview

Water Witches

Set in the Vermont countryside, Water Witches is a tale of the clash between progress and tradition, science and magic. In the midst of a nightmarish New England drought, cynical ski industry lobbyist Scottie Winston is trying to get a large ski resort the permits it needs to tap already beleaguered rivers for snow. His wife, his little girl, and his sister in law dowsers or ‘Water Witches‘ all hope to stop him, however, in this gentle, comic, life affirming novel.


‘Superbly crafted and astonishingly powerful…
. It will thrill readers who cherish their worn copies of To Kill A Mockingbird.’ PeopleWith a suspense, lyricism, and moral complexity that recall To Kill a Mockingbird and Presumed Innocent, this compulsively readable novel explores what happens when a woman who has devoted herself to ushering life into the world finds herself charged with responsibility in a patient’s tragic death. The time is 1981, and Sibyl Danforth has been a dedicated midwife in the rural community of Reddington, Vermont, for fifteen years. But one treacherous winter night, in a house isolated by icy roads and failed telephone lines, Sibyl takes desperate measures to save a baby’s life. She performs an emergency Caesarean section on its mother, who appears to have died in labor. But what if as Sibyl’s assistant later charges the patient wasn’t already dead, and it was Sibyl who inadvertently killed her?As recounted by Sibyl’s precocious fourteen year old daughter, Connie, the ensuing trial bears the earmarks of a witch hunt except for the fact that all its participants are acting from the highest motives and the defendant increasingly appears to be guilty. As Sibyl Danforth faces the antagonism of the law, the hostility of traditional doctors, and the accusations of her own conscience, Midwives engages, moves, and transfixes us as only the very best novels ever do. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Law of Similars

4 cassettes / 5 hoursRead by David BirneyFrom the bestselling author of Midwives comes a startlingly powerful AudioBook about three people whose lives are irrevocably changed by illness, healing, and love. Two years after his wife’s sudden, accidental death, a Vermont deputy state prosecutor, Leland Fowler, finds that the stress of raising their small daughter alone has left him with a chronic sore throat. Desperate to rid himself of a malady that has somehow managed to elude conventional medicine, Leland turns to homeopath Carissa Lake who cures both his sore throat and the aching loneliness at the root of his symptoms. Just days after Leland realizes he has fallen in love with the first woman who has mattered to him since his wife, one of Carissa’s asthma patients falls into an allergy induced coma. When Carissa comes under investigation, straight arrow Leland is faced with a moral and ethical dilemma of enormous proportions. Set against the ongoing clash between conventional and alternative medicine between what we know science can offer and the miracles that always seem to be just beyond our reach The Law of Similars is a haunting and deeply atmospheric tale. Chris Bohjalian is known for the compassion and grace that mark his characters as well as for the sheer storytelling power that propels his fiction. With The Law of Similars, he has offered something more: a examination of the fragile threads that hold people together when the worst that can happen really does…
and the unexpected and luminous ways we are made well. It is a remarkable achievement.

Trans-Sister Radio

Read by Judith IveyFive CDs, Approx. 5 hoursWhat if the person you have fallen madly, firmly in love with were to tell you that they are someone else someone you are suddenly unsure you know? New York Times best selling author Chris Bohjalian, known and loved for his inventive tales of people caught in moral and ethical dilemmas, posits this very question in a romantic and edgy new novel that’s impossible to put down. Alison Banks is an elementary school teacher in her early 40s, whose only daughter is leaving soon for college. To take her mind off the impending separation, she takes a course at the local college and finds herself falling in love with her instructor, Dana. Handsome, sexy, and charming, he is the man Alison had given up hope of ever meeting. Months into their almost idyllic relationship, he confides a powerful and intimate piece of information: he loves her, but he has long known that he is a woman trapped in the body of a man. After much soul searching and in order to free himself, he is having a sex change operation at the end of the year. Alison bolts, but comes back to him when she realizes how deeply in love she actually is. The story is told in alternating chapters by Alison; her teenage daughter, Carly; her ex husband, Will; and the charismatic Dana, each adding layers of insight and complexity, each responding in his or her own way to the issue of how and why we love exactly who we do. In his best selling novels Midwives and The Law of Similars, Chris Bohjalian examined, with remarkable subtlety and empathy, how lives can be changed through one seemingly random occurrence. In Trans Sister Radio, he uses that subtlety and empathy to explore the very nature of love and identity. With this compelling, unforgettable new novel, Bohjalian gives his many readers a love story, a tense cautionary tale of morality, an outstanding cast of characters, and a whole new way of thinking about love.

The Buffalo Soldier

From the bestselling and critically acclaimed author of Midwives and Trans Sister Radio comes a hauntingly beautiful story of the ties that bind families and the strains that pull them apart. In northern Vermont, a raging river overflows its banks and sweeps the nine year old twin daughters of Terry and Laura Sheldon to their deaths. In the aftermath of the tragedy, the highway patrolman and his wife, unable to have more children, take in a foster child: a ten year old African American boy who has been shuttled for years between foster families and group homes. Young Alfred cautiously enters the Sheldon family circle, barely willing to hope that he might find a permanent home among these kind people still distracted by grief. Across the street from the Sheldons live an older couple who take Alfred under their wing, and it is they who introduce him to the history of The Buffalo Soldiers African American cavalry troopers whose reputation for integrity, honor, and personal responsibility inspires the child. Before life has a chance to settle down, however, Terry, who has never been unfaithful to Laura, finds himself attracted to the solace offered by another woman. Their encounter, brief as it is, leaves her pregnant with his baby a child Terry suddenly realizes he urgently wants. From these fitful lives emerges a lyrical and richly textured story, one that explores the meaning of marriage, the bonds between parents and children, and the relationships that cause a community to become a family. But The Buffalo Soldier is also a tale of breathtaking power and profound moral complexity and exactly the sort of novel readers have come to expect from Chris Bohjalian.

Before You Know Kindness

For ten summers, the Seton family all three generations met at their country home in New England to spend a week together playing tennis, badminton, and golf, and savoring gin and tonics on the wraparound porch to celebrate the end of the season. In the eleventh summer, everything changed. A hunting rifle with a single cartridge left in the chamber wound up in exactly the wrong hands at exactly the wrong time, and led to a nightmarish accident that put to the test the values that unite the family and the convictions that just may pull it apart. Before You Know Kindness is a family saga that is timely in its examination of some of the most important issues of our era, and timeless in its exploration of the strange and unexpected places where we find love. As he did with his earlier masterpiece, Midwives, Chris Bohjalian has written a novel that is rich with unforgettable characters and absolutely riveting in its page turning intensity. Few writers can manipulate a plot with Bohjalian’s grace and power. The New York Times Book Review Chris Bohjalian s many fans will be glad to know he s back on the high wire, expertly balancing topical issues with the more timeless concerns of the human heart. His well drawn, sympathetic characters deepen and intensify the novel s gripping plot rather than simply serving it. Before You Know Kindness is smart, first rate storytelling. Richard Russo, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls Once again, Chris Bohjalian dares to tackle the complexities and complacencies of modern society at its most vulnerable spot, where the personal clashes with the political, where the private is forced to go public. And once again, he forges a drama that will keep his readers on the edge of their seats…
perhaps their conscience as well. Julia Glass, winner of the National Book Award for Three Junes Chris Bohjalian s magnificent new novel, Before You Know Kindness, is the best work of fiction I ve read about an American family since Amy Tan s The Joy Luck Club. It is one of the funniest, best written, most compassionate, most engaging, and flat out most enjoyable novels I ve ever read. Howard Frank Mosher, winner of the New England Book Award for A Stranger in the Kingdom Elegant, refined…
a triumph. Booklist starred reviewAlso available as a Random House AudioBook, a Large Print edition, and an eBook. From the Hardcover edition.

The Double Bind

Throughout his career, Chris Bohjalian has earned a reputation for writing novels that examine some of the most important issues of our time. With Midwives, he explored the literal and metaphoric place of birth in our culture. In The Buffalo Soldier, he introduced us to one of contemporary literature’s most beloved foster children. And in Before You Know Kindness, he plumbed animal rights, gun control, and what it means to be a parent. Chris Bohjalian s riveting fiction keeps us awake deep into the night. As The New York Times has said, Few writers can manipulate a plot with Bohjalian s grace and power. Now he is back with an ambitious new novel that travels between Jay Gatsby s Long Island and rural New England, between the Roaring Twenties and the twenty first century. When college sophomore Laurel Estabrook is attacked while riding her bicycle through Vermont s back roads, her life is forever changed. Formerly outgoing, Laurel withdraws into her photography and begins to work at a homeless shelter. There she meets Bobbie Crocker, a man with a history of mental illness and a box of photographs that he won t let anyone see. When Bobbie dies suddenly, Laurel discovers that he was telling the truth: before he was homeless, Bobbie Crocker was a successful photographer who had indeed worked with such legends as Chuck Berry, Robert Frost, and Eartha Kitt. As Laurel s fascination with Bobbie s former life begins to merge into obsession, she becomes convinced that some of his photographs reveal a deeply hidden, dark family secret. Her search for the truth will lead her further from her old life and into a cat and mouse game with pursuers who claim they want to save her. In this spellbinding literary thriller, rich with complex and compelling characters including Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan Chris Bohjalian takes readers on his most intriguing, most haunting, and most unforgettable journey yet. From the Hardcover edition.

Skeletons at the Feast

In January 1945, in the waning months of World War II, a small group of people begin the longest journey of their lives: an attempt to cross the remnants of the Third Reich, from Warsaw to the Rhine if necessary, to reach the British and American lines.

Among the group is eighteen year old Anna Emmerich, the daughter of Prussian aristocrats. There is her lover, Callum Finella, a twenty year old Scottish prisoner of war who was brought from the stalag to her family’s farm as forced labor. And there is a twenty six year old Wehrmacht corporal, who the pair know as Manfred who is, in reality, Uri Singer, a Jew from Germany who managed to escape a train bound for Auschwitz.

As they work their way west, they encounter a countryside ravaged by war. Their flight will test both Anna s and Callum s love, as well as their friendship with Manfred assuming any of them even survive.

Perhaps not since The English Patient has a novel so deftly captured both the power and poignancy of romance and the terror and tragedy of war. Skillfully portraying the flesh and blood of history, Chris Bohjalian has crafted a rich tapestry that puts a face on one of the twentieth century s greatest tragedies while creating, perhaps, a masterpiece that will haunt readers for generations.

Secrets of Eden

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.’There,’ 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.

The Night Strangers

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 baseme*nt 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 baseme*nt 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.

Idyll Banter

Years ago, Chris Bohjalian and his wife traded their Brooklyn co op for a century old Victorian house in Lincoln, Vermont population 975. Bohjalian, a bestselling novelist, began chronicling life in that gloriously quirky little village with a wide variety of magazine essays and his newspaper column, Idyll Banter. These pieces, written over the course of twelve years, are honest, funny, and deeply affecting reflections on the unique idiosyncrasies of small town life annual outhouse races and the universal experiences our hunger for neighborliness that unite us all.

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