cover image The Suffering Tree

The Suffering Tree

Elle Cosimano. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-4847-2659-4

A teenage girl gets caught up in a centuries-old family feud with a magical twist in a grim story of grief, recovery, and witchcraft. After the death of her adoptive father, 17-year-old Tori Burns—an ex-swimmer who’s adept with a razor blade when it comes to self-harm—moves from Washington, D.C., to a dilapidated Maryland farmhouse with her mother and brother. No one in the town of Chaptico is pleased to see the Burnses, especially not the sprawling Slaughter clan, who once owned the house. Then Tori sees a young man rise up from the grave one night. He’s Nathaniel Bishop, an indentured servant for the Slaughters in the 18th century who was hanged, and he and Tori attempt to figure out why he has returned. The shifts between the present-day narrative and Nathaniel’s time on the Slaughter farm can be jarring, though Cosimano’s (Holding Smoke) story is rich in historical detail and eerie atmosphere, and the cross-centuries friendship that develops between these two outsiders is touching. Ages 14–up. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary. (June)