cover image The Pecan Children

The Pecan Children

Quinn Connor. Sourcebooks Landmark, $16.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-72826-390-8

This sultry Southern gothic from Connor, the pseudonym of Robyn Barrow and Alexandra Cronin (who previously collaborated on Cicadas Sing of Summer Graves), delivers heat and chills in equal measure. Lil Clearwater labors endlessly on the pecan orchard left to her by her mother. Her equilibrium is shattered when Jason, the high school sweetheart who left her behind to go to law school, returns to their depressed hometown. Meanwhile Sasha, Lil’s “lesbian-outsider twin sister,” reluctantly returns from New York City and finds Autumn, her unrequited childhood crush, back as well. As Lil, Jason, Sasha, and Autumn weave a tangled web of desire and distrust, supernatural forces stalk the community: feral children run through the woods, house fires flare up and extinguish themselves, and a shadowy, monstrous presence stalks the edges of town. With lyrical prose and a rich seam of folklore, Connor artfully braids satisfying mystery and romance subplots, creating an abiding sense of unease. This story of crumbling grandeur and family secrets will leave readers hungry for more. Agent: Kate Burke, Blake Friedmann Literary. (June)