Struggling to move on after her husband's death, thirty-five-year-old Anna receives an unexpected phone call from her estranged grandmother, Goldie, summoning her to New York. A demanding woman with a sharp tongue and a devotion to fashion and etiquette, Goldie has not softened in the five years since she and her granddaughter last spoke. Now she wants Anna to drive her to San Francisco to return a collection of exquisite Japanese art to a long-lost friend.
Hours of sitting behind the wheel of Goldie's Rolls-Royce soften Anna's attitude toward her grandmother, and as the miles pass, old hurts begin to heal. Yet no matter how close they become, Goldie harbors painful secrets about her youthful days in 1940s San Francisco that she cannot share. But if she truly wants to help her granddaughter find happiness again, she must eventually confront the truths of her life.
Moving back and forth across time and told in the voices of both Anna and Goldie, The Secret of the Nightingale Palace is a searing portrait of family, betrayal, sacrifice, and forgiveness and a testament to the enduring power of love.
About the Author
Dana Sachs is the author of the novel If You Lived Here and two books of nonfiction, The House on Dream Street: Memoir of an American Woman in Vietnam and The Life We Were Given: Operation Babylift, International Adoption, and the Children of War in Vietnam. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, she lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, with her husband and two sons.
“ IF YOU LIVED HERE is filled with dramatic moments. Author Dana Sachs deserves to be listened to.”
“Candid and large-hearted.”
-Elle on THE HOUSE ON DREAM STREET
“Charming moments and telling insights.”
-St. Louis Post-Dispatch on THE HOUSE ON DREAM STREET
“Love, in its various incarnations, is the central theme of Sachs’ tale--big love that’s revealed in small signs and little gestures.”
-Morning Star Wilmington (NC)
“Part memoir, part travelogue, the account…reads like a novel.”
-Washington Post on THE HOUSE ON DREAM STREET
“Parts of this book are genuinely beautiful…Sachs is particularly skilled at evoking the smells, sounds and rhythms of Hanoi.”
-Orlando Sentinel on THE HOUSE ON DREAM STREET
“Lovingly crafted…The writing has the endearing, straightforward and meticulous quality of diary entries. Her prose is clean, allowing for some quietly elegant passages.”
-San Jose Mercury News on THE HOUSE ON DREAM STREET
-Utne Reader on THE HOUSE ON DREAM STREET
“Poignant...A well-told story, with appealing characters, delightful moments and a satisfyingly real ending.”
“Precise and vivid.
“Sachs bravely renders Vietnam through fresh eyes.”
-Publishers Weekly on THE HOUSE ON DREAM STREET
“Sachs is an engaging and sensitive writer who tells her story ably.”
-Library Journal on THE HOUSE ON DREAM STREET
“Sachs traces through each of her visits to Vietnam…with humor, poignancy and well-written grace.”
-The Colorado Review on THE HOUSE ON DREAM STREET
“Says more about Vietnamese culture than any book published to date, just as it proves that the language of the heart can leap social and political bounds.”
-Lexington Herald-Leader on THE HOUSE ON DREAM STREET
“...An uncannily moving novel of the Vietnamese experience in America. Dana Sachs is a one-woman power grid, her book electric company.”
-Tom Bissell, author of God Lives in St. Petersburg and The Father of All Things
“This is Dana Sachs’s best yet. THE SECRET OF THE NIGHTINGALE PALACE is a charming story, beautifully told. Her prose puts one in mind of the Japanese prints she writes about: colorful, spare, and evocative.”
-George Bishop, author of Letter to My Daughter
“Dana Sachs’s beautifully written novel, The Secret of the Nightingale Palace, is so pitch perfect that you’ll be sad when it’s over. A gifted storyteller, Sachs has created a multi-generational page-turner that will keep you reading late into the night. Brilliant!”
-Celia Rivenbark, author of You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl