On a sunny summer morning by the sea in New England, Susan Ford’s cocoon of privilege is threatened when an Iraqi man from her distant past boards a plane in Baghdad to come find her.
Mrs. Ford leads a privileged life. From her Blenheim spaniels to her cottage on the coast of Watch Hill, Rhode Island, she carefully curates her world. Hair in place, house in place, life in place, Susan Ford keeps it under control.
Early one morning in the summer of 2014, the past pays a call to collect. The FBI arrives to question her about a man from Iraq—a Chaldean Christian from Mosul—where ISIS has just seized control. Sammy Fakhouri, they say, is his name and they have taken him into custody, picked up on his way to her house.
Back in the summer of 1979, on the outskirts of a declining Detroit, college coed Susan meets charismatic and reckless Annie. They are an unlikely pair of friends but they each see something in the other—something they’d like to possess. Studious Susan is a moth to the flame that is Annie. Yet, it is dazzling Annie who senses that Susan will be the one who makes it out of Detroit.
Together, the girls navigate the minefields of a down-market disco where they work their summer jobs. It’s a world filled with pretty girls and powerful men, some of whom—like Sammy Fakhouri—happen to be Iraqi Chaldeans.
What happened in that summer of 1979 when Susan and Annie met? Why is Sammy looking for Susan all these years later? And why is Mrs. Ford lying?
Deborah Goodrich Royce launched her acting career in 1982 in the lead role of Silver Kane (sister of the legendary Erica Kane) on ABC’s All My Children. She went on to star in dozens of feature films, television series, and TV movies. In the ’90s, Deborah was the story editor at Miramax Films, overseeing readers, manuscript acquisitions, and script development; editing such notable screenplays as Emma by Doug McGrath. Deborah and a writing partner won a grant from the Massachusetts Arts Council in 2002 to develop and workshop their screenplay, Susan Taft Has Run Amok.
With her husband, Chuck, Deborah restored the 1939 Avon Theatre in Stamford, CT. Under her leadership, the Avon hosts an ongoing series of speakers, most recently, Marcus Zusak, Richard Gere and Chloe Sevigny. Deborah serves on the national council of the American Film Institute, the executive board of the Greenwich International Film Festival, the international council of the Preservation Society of Newport, and the governing boards of New York Botanical Garden, the Greenwich Historical Society, and the PRASAD Project. Deborah and Chuck have a tribe of children, stepchildren, grandchildren and animals. Finding Mrs. Ford is her first novel.
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