By Sara Goudarzi
A Poets & Writers “New and Noteworthy Book” Listen to the first page here
A Loan Stars January 2022 Adult Top Ten Pick
This magical debut novel follows a woman and a young girl a world apart from each other whose paths cross in the most unusual of ways.
Publication Date: February 15, 2022
Emma had the perfect trifecta: a long-term job as an engineer designing sewers; a steady relationship with her reliable boyfriend; and an adoring and creative best friend (about whom she wasn’t quite ready to admit her unrequited feelings). Then early one morning, a phone call changed her world forever.
Now she’s having nightmares that threaten to disrupt the space-time continuum –– nightmares of hiding from bombs in basements, of glass shattering from nearby explosions. But these disturbing dreams, in which she inhabits the body of a young girl named Lily, seem all too real, and Emma’s waking life begins to be affected by the events that transpire in this mysterious wartime landscape. Convinced she has been given a chance to save a life, Emma tries to rescue Lily from heartache, but ultimately it is through Lily that Emma finds her way back.
The Almond in the Apricot navigates connections formed across space and time and explores love, grief, and the possibility that the universe might be bigger than either Emma or Lily ever imagined.
Sara Goudarzi’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Scientific American, National Geographic News, The Adirondack Review and Drunken Boat, among others. She is the author of Leila’s Day at the Pool and Amazing Animals from Scholastic Inc. Sara has taught writing at NYU and is a 2017 Writers in Paradise Les Standiford fellow and a Tin House alumna. Born in Tehran, she grew up in Iran, Kenya and the U.S. and currently lives in Brooklyn.
“A beautiful, strange, shape-shifting novel about the movement of grief and longing, The Almond in the Apricot had me at Emma’s first dream of Lily and didn’t let go. Sara Goudarzi has written a wonderful and compelling novel, made all the more astonishing by the fact that it is her first. I loved it.” —Ethan Rutherford, author of Farthest South & Other Stories and The Peripatetic Coffin
"The Almond in the Apricot is a dazzling meditation on loss and the power of connection. Truly, I can't think of a more perfect story for our time." —Heather Harper Ellett, author of Ain’t Nobody Nobody
“The Almond in the Apricot is brimful of mystery and longing, a page-turner that derives its suspense from vast and resonant questions about the layers of the self and of the world. Movingly, Sara Goudarzi’s debut novel plumbs the depths of grief, desire, and love.” —Clare Beams, author of The Illness Lesson
"A rocket of a read—a propulsive and explosive ride. I love it when a novel manages to be this smart and this gripping at the same time. In The Almond in the Apricot, two lives come together across time and space to form one hell of a story. Sara Goudarzi’s impressive debut shows she’s one to watch, and one to read.” —Mat Johnson, author of Pym and Loving Day
“With a narrative style full of compassion and a close understanding of the fragility of reality, Goudarzi’s debut novel interrogates our ideas of separateness and normalcy while defining the threads of hope and love that connect us across time and space.” —Dina Dugar, Manhattan Book Review
“At its heart, this is a story about the deep ties of real and true friendships, one at its end and the other just beginning.” —Tessa Terry, Booklist