Finding Mrs. Ford
by Deborah Goodrich Royce
Paperback Release April 7, 2019
by Post Hill Press
About the book
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?
Royce, an actress and a story editor for Miramax, imbues her debut novel with plenty of drama, suspense, and sharp observations. Royce cleverly builds up troubling circumstances that drive toward a dramatic twist, which readers will find to be both plausible and unexpected. A compelling, well-written thriller with an effective, twisty plot. — From Kirkus Reviews
“Something about the flashbacks—from staid, starchy Watch Hill, RI, in 2014, to big, bad Detroit in 1979—made it feel sexy and a little dangerous…the story is a fun one, with a nifty twist midway.” — The New York Times
“Royce, an actress and a story editor for Miramax, imbues her debut novel with plenty of drama, suspense, and sharp observations. […] A compelling, well-written thriller with an effective, twisty plot.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Juicy and suspenseful” — People Magazine
“Royce draws you into her plot via her dazzling treatment of this setting, and other equally well-drawn locales, including disco-era suburban Detroit, which figures heavily in the plot as well. This novel, which is Royce’s first, features equally three-dimensional characters and plot twists that are engaging and original as well. Once you’ve enjoyed Finding Mrs. Ford, you’ll find yourself expecting more great things from this author, as am I.” — Forbes.com
“In this absorbing debut, Deborah Goodrich Royce takes readers on a twisty, mesmerizing journey between the rarefied world of Watch Hill, Rhode Island and the warring of gangsters of 1970s suburban Detroit, as a grieving widow is forced to confront the consequences of a fateful summer thirty-five years earlier. Brimming with vivid characters and emotional insight, Finding Mrs. Ford tackles big themes of identity, friendship, and loss, spinning out the suspense to the last page. A total triumph.” — Beatriz Williams, New York Times bestselling author of “The Summer Wives”
“Deborah Goodrich Royce’s gripping and relatable literary suspense novel Finding Mrs. Ford unravels the decades-old secret behind an otherwise perfect life… The novel’s payoff is a thrilling twist that comes late in the book. As Susan accepts that the truth will cost her everything she’s known, her memories of 1979 become more vibrant, violent, and graphic. The real thrill of Finding Mrs. Ford comes from reconciling the person Susan says she is with the girl she used to be.” — Foreword Reviews
“An impressively original, immediately engaging and thoroughly entertaining novel by an author with a distinctive narrative storytelling style.” — Midwest Book Review
“”In her literary debut, Deborah Goodrich Royce has given us the sort of thriller that wants to be devoured in one sitting. Written from start to finish with crisp and poignant prose, compelling characters and setting, Finding Mrs. Ford entertains as much with imagery as with its masterful plot twists. I couldn’t put it down.” — Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg, Author of “Eden” and “The Nine”
I was so intrigued with reading a book by Deborah Goodrich Royce that I jumped at the chance. I’ll admit, it was because of who she is, and not because of the book itself, see her bio for her amazing career and accomplishments. That’s not to say I wasn’t also intrigued by the premise of the book, of course I was, give me anything fictional with thriller and suspense and I’m in!
What I was not expecting was the book I read. It starts off slow and smooth, with beautiful descriptive words and surroundings. Royce’s writing is almost lyrical while she describes Rhode Island, and I know I need to go visit the beach there now. But then she slowly creeps into this story that just BAM… all of a sudden puts you right in the middle of the drama and you didn’t even know you were there. You then find yourself turning the pages late into the night lie a fiend trying to figure out how this book could possibly end, and I’ll tell you right now all your theories will be totally wrong. She gets us all on this one
This one was full of suspense, had a unique storyline, and totally kept the reader engaged. It’s one of those books you can’t put down and if you have to, you cant wait to pick it back up. It’s hard to believe this is a debut novel, and I can not wait to read what this brilliant woman comes up with next. I must give this book 5 stars. It was one of the most absorbing reads ever. Highly recommend.
I just would like to thank Deborah Goodrich Royce, Suzanne Leopold of Suzy Approved Book Tours and Post Hill Press for the copy of this book for my unbiased and honest opinion for review.
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About the Author
Deborah began 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 shows, mini-series and TV movies
After the birth of her daughters, she moved with her family to Paris and worked as a reader for le Studio Canal Plus. In the 1990’s, Deborah was the story editor at Miramax Films, overseeing readers, manuscript acquisitions and script development, including editing such notable screenplays as EMMA by Doug McGrath.
With writing partner, Mitch Giannunzio, Deborah won a grant from the Massachusetts Arts Council in 2002 to develop and workshop their original screenplay, SUSAN TAFT HAS RUN AMOK.
With her husband, Chuck, Deborah restored the1939 Avon Theatre in Stamford, CT. Under her leadership, the Avon hosts an ongoing series of film luminaries, most recently, Mira Nair, Richard Gere and Chloe Sevigny. The late Gene Wilder, a longstanding advisory board member of the Avon, was an early advocate for Deborah’s writing.
Deborah and Chuck have also restored several hotels (Ocean House, Deer Mountain Inn, and Weekapaug Inn), a bookstore (The Savoy in Westerly, RI), and numerous other “Main Street” buildings. Deborah serves on multiple boards, including the national council of the American Film Institute, the executive board of the Greenwich International Film Festival, and the governing boards of the New York Botanical Garden, the Greenwich Historical Society, and the PRASAD Project.
FINDING MRS. FORD is her first novel
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