Alice Rothchild presents 'Finding Melody Sullivan'

"Rothchild has an uncanny ability to honor clashing voices and values . . . above all, a novel about the courage we must find in ourselves to keep hope alive in the impossible world we have inherited." —Eve Spangler


Third Place Books welcomes the return of physician, author, and filmmaker Alice Rothchild for a discussion of her newest young adult novel Finding Melody Sullivan, about a 16-year-old who must face her internal demons and the external realities of war and occupation after the death of her mother. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required in advance.

This event will include a public signing and time for audience Q&A. Sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured book!

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About Finding Melody Sullivan. . .

16-year-old Melody Sullivan is falling apart after the death of her mother. She pours her cynicism and grief into poetry and an intense relationship with her powerhouse best friend, Yasmina Khdour. When Melody’s father drags her to an overseas archeology conference in Jerusalem, she is left to wander alone.

Hanging out on a Tel Aviv beach, smoking dope with her Israeli cousins and their army buddies, sounds like fun. While stoned, she is sexually assaulted by a friend of her cousin. She cannot share this devastating truth with her emotionally distant dad and impulsively flees to Hebron where Yasmina is visiting her family. As a Palestinian, Yasmina is unable to enter Jerusalem. Melody’s only other source of solace is Aaron Shapiro, a shy, religious boy back home with an awkward crush on her, but Aaron’s anxious texts make it clear he believes she’s wandering into enemy territory.

This is a story about trauma and taking emotional risks, about facing internal demons and the external realities of war and occupation, about finding oneself in the most unexpected places.


Praise for Finding Melody Sullivan. . .

Finding Melody Sullivan is a must-read. Rothchild offers readers a multifaceted narrative of a teenaged girl navigating friendship, identity, family, and grief, in the context of witnessing a military occupation. Rothchild treats all her characters with respect and compassion, and the result is a deeply human story which is, at turns enraging, humorous, surprising, and always honest and authentic.”
Jen Marlowe, author, playwright, filmmaker

“A beautifully told story of a 16-year-old from Vermont inspecting the scraps of her messy life...”
Duncan Lyon, Sand Paper Stone

“In this sensitively told story, Rothchild weaves a tale of overcoming grief and discovery during a crucial time in her young protagonist's life. Rothchild gracefully moves through this young girl's profound pain, layering her storytelling with her fragile character's struggles as she reconciles her loss and uncovers the truth about family, friendship, and the broader conflict in the world she encounters. The young characters in her story have something to teach us.”
Paul Zarou, Arab Boy Delivered

Alice Rothchild is a physician, author, and filmmaker who loves storytelling that pushes boundaries and engages us in unexpected conversations. She practiced ob-gyn for almost 40 years and served as Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Harvard Medical School. She writes and lectures widely, is the author of Broken Promises, Broken Dreams: Stories of Jewish and Palestinian Trauma and Resilience (translated into German and Hebrew); On the Brink: Israel and Palestine on the Eve of the 2014 Gaza Invasion; and Condition Critical: Life and Death in Israel/Palestine and she has contributed to a number of anthologies and poetry journals. She directed a documentary film, Voices Across the Divide and is a mentor for We Are Not Numbers, a program that supports young writers in Gaza. She received Boston Magazine’s Best of Boston’s Women Doctors Award, was named in Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975, had her portrait painted for Robert Shetterly’s Americans Who Tell the Truth, and was named a Peace Pioneer by the American Jewish Peace Archive. When she is not making good trouble, she loves hiking in the Pacific Northwest, playing with her grandchildren, tending to her boisterous garden, and stretching the boundaries of her cooking. 

Want a signed edition of the featured book, but can't make it to the event? Order through our website or over the phone, and write your request for a signature or personalization in the comments field at checkout. Please call the hosting store if you're placing your order within 24 hours of the event.

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