Lone Women

One World. Mar. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780525512080. $27. HORROR
Shirley Jackson Award winner LaValle (The Changeling) beautifully captures the vastness of the 1915 Montana frontier and the subtlety of terror in his latest. Adelaide Henry has a dark secret: a terrible curse gifted to her family the day she was born. Destined to live in shame or die from it, Adelaide flees her family farm in California to be a homesteader. Desperate to start over, she buys property in Montana, sight unseen, and brings with her only a steamer trunk that holds the secret she can’t keep for long, though as a tall Black woman, she finds it difficult to blend in. The history of Adelaide is as murky as her future is unpredictable, but the only way to move forward is to face her demons and tell her truth. A chilling tale of isolation, shame, regret, and survival, LaValle’s novel is incredibly immersive—readers will hear the wind of the prairie, smell the wood smoke, see the bloodstains, and feel the fear.
VERDICT LaValle grips readers with the subtle terror of inevitability, only to hold tight with tenderness.
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