Amanda Churchill Headshot
Wednesday, August 28, 2024 - 5:15pm

Join bookseller, Karin Barker, for a discussion of "The Turtle House," an emotionally engaging literary debut that moves between late 1990s small-town Texas to pre-World War II Japan and occupied Tokyo, and centers a grandmother and granddaughter who connect over a beloved lost place and the secrets they both carry. Karin and book club members will meet in-person at 5:15 for this discussion, then at 6:00, Amanda Churchill will Zoom into the book club for a Q&A session, so come with some great questions in mind!

RSVP by stopping by the store in person, or calling us at 970-926-7323. 

Amanda Churchill is a writer living in Texas. Her work has been featured in "Hobart Pulp," "Witness," "River Styx," and other outlets. She was a Writer's League of Texas 2021 Fellow and holds a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from the University of North Texas. "The Turtle House" is her first novel. 

It's spring 1999, and 25-year-old Lia Cope and her prickly 73-year-old grandmother, Mineko, are sharing a bedroom in Curtain, Texas, the ranching town where Lia grew up and Mineko began her life as a Japanese war bride. Both women are at a turning point: Mineko, long widowed, moved in with her son and daughter-in-law after a suspicious fire destroyed the Cope family ranch house, while Lia, an architect with a promising career in Austin, has unexpectedly returned under circumstances she refuses to explain.

Though Lia never felt especially close to her grandmother, the two grow close sharing late-night conversations. Mineko tells stories of her early life in Japan, of the war that changed everything, and of her two great loves: a man named Akio Sato and an abandoned Japanese country estate they called the Turtle House, where their relationship took root. As Mineko reveals more of her early life--tales of innocent swimming lessons that blossom into something more, a friendship nurtured across oceans, totems saved and hidden, the heartbreak of love lost too soon--Lia comes to understand the depth of her grandmother's pain and sacrifice and sees her Texas family in a new light. She also recognizes that it's she who needs to come clean--about the budding career she abandoned and the mysterious man who keeps calling.

When Mineko's adult children decide, against her wishes, to move her into an assisted living community, she and Lia devise a plan to bring a beloved lost place to life, one that they hope will offer the safety and sense of belonging they both need, no matter the cost. A story of intergenerational friendship, family, coming of age, identity, and love, The Turtle House illuminates the hidden lives we lead, the secrets we hold close, and what it truly means to find home again when it feels lost forever.

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The Turtle House: A Novel By Amanda Churchill Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063290518
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - February 20th, 2024