NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Blue skies, empty land—and enough wide-open space to hide a horrifying secret. A woman with a past, a mysterious trunk, a town on the edge of nowhere, and an “absorbing, powerful” (BuzzFeed) new vision of the American West, from the award-winning author of The Changeling.
“Propulsive . . . LaValle combines chills with deep insights into our country’s divides.”—Los Angeles Times
ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2023: The New York Times, Time, Oprah Daily, Los Angeles Times, Esquire, Essence, Salon, Vulture, Reader’s Digest, The Root, LitHub, Paste, PopSugar, Chicago Review of Books, BookPage, Book Riot, Tordotcom, Crime Reads, Kirkus Reviews
Adelaide Henry carries an enormous steamer trunk with her wherever she goes. It’s locked at all times. Because when the trunk opens, people around Adelaide start to disappear.
The year is 1915, and Adelaide is in trouble. Her secret sin killed her parents, forcing her to flee California in a hellfire rush and make her way to Montana as a homesteader. Dragging the trunk with her at every stop, she will become one of the “lone women” taking advantage of the government’s offer of free land for those who can tame it—except that Adelaide isn’t alone. And the secret she’s tried so desperately to lock away might be the only thing that will help her survive the harsh territory.
Crafted by a modern master of magical suspense, Lone Women blends shimmering prose, an unforgettable cast of adventurers who find horror and sisterhood in a brutal landscape, and a portrait of early-twentieth-century America like you’ve never seen. And at its heart is the gripping story of a woman desperate to bury her past—or redeem it.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This gritty period thriller is unlike any historical novel we’ve ever read before. In 1915, Adelaide leaves her old life in California and settles near the small town of Big Sandy, Montana, hoping to live off the land. But a mysterious danger locked in her steamer trunk makes this Black woman’s burden even heavier than dealing with the threats posed by her bigoted new neighbors. As Adelaide struggles for survival against the unforgiving elements, a mostly white town full of aggressive teetotalers, and an eerie, unnamed threat, author Victor LaValle makes every moment feel cinematic. Blending elements of the Western with supernatural horror, Lone Women is an absolutely captivating read.
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.
I was amazed by how much I loved this book.