I’ll Give You the Sun meets True Detective in this brilliant YA debut about saints, sisters, and learning to let go.
Tess da Costa is a saint—a hand-to-god, miracle-producing saint. At least that’s what the people in her hometown of New Avon, Massachusetts, seem to believe. And when Tess suddenly and tragically passes away, her small city begins feverishly petitioning the Pope to make Tess’s sainthood official. Tess’s mother is ecstatic over the fervor, while her sister Callie, the one who knew Tess best, is disgusted—overcome with the feeling that her sister is being stolen from her all over again.
The fervor for Tess’s sainthood only grows when Ana Langone, a local girl who’s been missing for six months, is found alive at the foot of one of Tess’s shrines. It’s the final straw for Callie. With the help of Tess’s secret boyfriend Danny, Callie’s determined to prove that Tess was something far more important than a saint; she was her sister, her best friend and a girl in love with a boy. But Callie’s investigation uncovers much more than she bargained for—a hidden diary, old family secrets, and even the disturbing truth behind Ana’s kidnapping. Told in alternating perspectives, A Psalm for Lost Girls is at once funny, creepy and soulful—an impressive debut from a rising literary star.
Callie da Costa is 16 when her older sister, Tess, whom many believe channels God's divine will, dies from an untreated heart defect. After a missing six-year-old, Ana Langone, reappears at one of Tess's shrines and other reports of Tess's miracles pour in, Callie's mother is set on having Tess named a saint. Determined to stop the petition for sainthood and debunk the miracle of Ana's safe return, Callie teams up with Danny, an old friend who has a complicated relationship with both sisters. Callie's first-person chapters alternate with excerpts from Tess's journals, weaving Tess's final thoughts and experiences with those of Callie in the months after Tess's death. Through these two perspectives alleged saint and grieving sister debut author Bayerl unspools a gripping story of loss and grace. The search for Ana's abductor and the eventual revelations surrounding her kidnapping form a poignant parallel to Tess and Callie's relationship, deftly underlining the ways in which grief can warp reality and encourage self-destruction. Richly and evocatively written, Bayerl's story is ideal for fans of Jandy Nelson and Melina Marchetta. Ages 12 up.