cover image Lone Women

Lone Women

Victor LaValle. One World, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-0-525-51208-0

World Fantasy Award winner LaValle (The Changeling) returns with a haunting historical horror novel. In 1915, Adelaide Henry flees her California hometown following the death of her parents, for which she feels responsible. Inspired by a testimonial from a single woman who took advantage of a loophole in a homesteading opportunity offered by the federal government, Adelaide makes the trek to Montana with a mysterious steamer trunk in tow. The trunk contains her deepest, darkest secrets, and as her journey unfolds, readers will get a sense of creeping wrongness about the object, which, Adelaide is adamant, must remain locked at all times. When she arrives in Montanna, Adelaide is unprepared for the harsh winter and the unfamiliar ways of her neighbors: “A woman on her own, a Black woman out here in Montana, far from the Black community she’d known in Lucerne Valley, must remain vigilant for her own sense of safety. In truth, she’d never been around so many white people.” As she adjusts to her new life, she finds that escaping her past is not as easy as she hoped, and that her secrets, once out, could spell death for everyone around her. A counter to the typical homesteading narrative, this moody and masterful western fires on all cylinders. Readers are sure to be impressed. Agent: Gloria Loomis, Watkins/Loomis Agency. (Mar.)