What is The Astonishing Thing about?
The Astonishing Thing is the story of a troubled family and broken marriage, seen through the eyes of a cat named Boo. One day, the human mother of the family goes out and doesn’t return, and Boo is devastated. She’s determined to figure out what happened to her mother. The answer is nothing like what she imagined.
Are there romantic scenes in your novel?
There are! I always include romance in my stories.
Boo understands the importance of a human needing to find a mate he or she can count on. She sees romance as normal mating behavior, but she also finds the way humans go about it amusing at times.
What’s your favorite aspect of writing about romantic relationships?
I enjoy scenes where the reader can see that two characters are falling in love through their actions, before the characters have voiced out loud what they’re feeling. Scenes with romantic tension are fun to write because then the stakes are raised in whatever other drama is going on.
Is there a dog in the story too?
There is! He’s a small, yappy dog named Jasper (named after my own dog, who is a maltese). But Boo doesn’t care much about Jasper. She refers to him as Not A Cat. She’d much rather hang around with her humans, who are infinitely more interesting!
ABOUT THE ASTONISHING THING
In her inventive, sometimes bittersweet, ultimately uplifting debut, Sandi Ward draws readers into one extraordinary cat’s quest to make sense of her world, illuminating the limits and mysterious depths of love . . .
Pet owners know that a cat’s loyalty is not easily earned. Boo, a resourceful young feline with a keen eye and inquiring mind, has nonetheless grown intensely devoted to her human companion, Carrie. Several days ago, Carrie—or Mother, as Boo calls her—suddenly went away, leaving her family, including Boo, in disarray. Carrie’s husband, Tommy, is distant and distracted even as he does his best to care for Boo’s human siblings, especially baby Finn.
Boo worries about who will fill her food dish, and provide a warm lap to nestle into. More pressing still, she’s trying to uncover the complicated truth about why Carrie left. Though frequently mystified by human behavior, Boo is sure that Carrie once cared passionately for Tommy and adores her children, even the non-feline ones. But she also sees it may not be enough to make things right. Perhaps only a cat—a wise, observant, very determined cat—can do that . . .
Wonderfully tender and insightful, THE ASTONISHING THING explores the intricacies of marriage and family through an unforgettable perspective at the center of it all.
“A unique and poignant tale of a family’s struggle as witnessed by someone who sees everything...a triumphant debut for Sandi Ward.”
— Helen Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Cleo
FIND THE ASTONISHING THING AT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER, OR:
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Sandi Ward grew up in Manchester-By-The-Sea, Massachusetts. She attended Tufts University, and received her MA in Creative Writing at New York University, where she studied with E.L. Doctorow. She now lives on the Jersey Shore with her husband, teenagers, dog and a big black cat named Winnie. Sandi is a medical writer at an ad agency in New Jersey, specializing in psychiatry and pain management.
Her first novel for Kensington Books is titled THE ASTONISHING THING, and it is available October 31, 2017. Her second novel is titled SOMETHING WORTH SAVING, available November 2018.
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Learn more at: www.sandiwardbooks.com