Coming September 24, 2019


A Novel


An American exhibit designer tries to make her mark in Saudi Arabia, despite the worries of those close to her.


Joanna Dunhill and Everett Dana have been partners for ten years--in business and in love--when one of the only women in government in the Middle East invites their firm to design a children's museum in Riyadh. Jo sees a chance to finally get recognized in the design world, and help Saudi girls along the way, while her husband is skeptical. He would rather remain in his workshop, fashioning gadgets, than deal with a vigorously policed society. But he follows her lead. The process of bidding on the job throws their home office into chaos and challenges long-held assumptions about the value of their work--and marriage. If they get the job, can their partnership survive the strain?



Advance reviews:


“Sheila Grinell’s The Contract is a fascinating read, and a rare inside look at life and business in Saudi Arabia, which is mostly closed to outsiders. It’s the story of an American couple vying for a prize contract in Riyadh, who are sorely tested as both workers and lovers.”

--JAN GOODWIN, award-winning journalist and author of Price of Honor: Muslim Women Lift the Veil of Silence on the Islamic World


 “The Contract begins as a take-charge American woman arrives in Saudi Arabia to chase a deal she hopes will bring international acclaim to her design company. She plows ahead despite the misgivings of those closest to her. That’s what’s on the surface. Ah, but the undercurrents. Author Sheila Grinell takes readers deep as she explores titanic clashes of culture and personality.”

--LINDA VALDEZ, Pulitzer Prize finalist for editorial writing and author of Crossing the Line: A Marriage Across Borders


 “Fascinating insights into the world of museum exhibits, the frustrations of American women doing business in Saudi Arabia, and the emotional mysteries of marriage. Characters are vivid and captivating, and creative plot twists keep the reader engrossed.”

            --ALESA LIGHTBOURNE, author of The Kurdish Bike