A riveting and poignant novel of one woman’s journey to Bali in search of love, renewal, and a place to call home—perfect for readers of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love and Alex Garland’s The Beach.
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.
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Praise for The Paradise Guest House
“Two survivors of Bali’s terrorist bombing find love and spiritual rebirth on an island whose inhabitants believe in reincarnation in Sussman’s touching panorama of paradise. . . . Throughout, Sussman celebrates lovers, quiet healing, and the sweetness of the island and its people.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A story of healing and redemption, of finding love in the most unexpected places, and of the importance of moving forward . . . Sussman has drawn a vivid, well-balanced portrait of a woman and a country working to recover from an unimaginable event and a very personal look at a global tragedy.”—Booklist
“Echoing Bali’s difficult recovery from [the 2002 terrorist bombing], the characters tread the difficult terrain of post-traumatic attachment. . . . A respectful and earnest . . . treatment of devastation’s aftermath.”—Kirkus Reviews
“[A] moving story about making sense of life after a tragedy . . . This touching tale will cause contemplation about what closure truly means.”—RT Book Reviews
Two survivors of Bali's terrorist bombing find love and spiritual rebirth on an island whose inhabitants believe in reincarnation in Sussman's touching panorama of paradise. When Jamie Hyde deplanes in Bali to attend the one-year memorial ceremony of the bombing, she instantly relives the "color, noise, pain" of the nightclub attack that left her body scarred and her mind broken. An adventure guide, Jamie had been scouting for a new tour in Bali with her boyfriend, Miguel, when the bombs exploded in 2002. While frantically searching for Miguel, Jamie became involved in rescue efforts with Gabe Winters, an ex-pat, ex-journalist who had left Boston after a devastating tragedy, and had settled in Bali. When Jamie became trapped in the wreckage, Gabe saved her life and cared for her at a quiet beach cottage. Days later, Jamie returned home, leaving only a good-bye note for Gabe. During the memorial visit, Jamie seeks out Gabe, who is still hurt from her abrupt departure the year before. They attempt to find their old footing, questioning whether their time in the cottage was real, or a "shared experience" from their trauma. Throughout, Sussman (French Lessons) celebrates lovers, quiet healing, and the sweetness of the island and its people.