Fates and Furies meets Melancholia in this ominous and absorbing debut novel about marriage and motherhood in a time of ecological collapse, as mothers around the world begin to mysteriously vanish from their homes
Ada—a woman from Montreal living reluctantly in Michigan—vanishes from her bed one night while her husband Danny is asleep beside her, her young son, Gilles, in the next room. Desperate to locate Ada before Gilles understands what has happened, Danny begins a search. But the feds are already involved: across the country and around the world, mothers are vanishing from their homes.
Where did Ada go? What has she gone through? And how does the mystery relate to the forest that she seemed magnetically drawn to?
Confronting the role of motherhood and the meaning of home in the wreckage of capitalism and climate change, The Forbidden Territory of a Terrifying Woman is that rare, dazzling debut that is both thrilling and profound. It is a mystery, a play on myths of metamorphosis, and above all, a story of love—between husband and wife, mother and child—deeply troubled by the future we face.
Mothers disappear from their homes across the world in Lynch's spectacular debut. Writing professor Ada Berger, 39, lives in Ann Arbor, Mich., with her husband, Danny, and six-year-old son, Gilles. Ada's most comfortable in remote, unspoiled places and is in a perpetual state of fear that climate change will destroy the Earth and her small family. Her unease deepens when a local woman mysteriously disappears. As more mothers around the country vanish, Ada feels uncontrollably drawn to the small forest behind Gilles's school, and when she finally enters a "space like a door, an entryway" in the woods, she loses track of time and senses herself merging with nature. Then Danny wakes up one morning to find that Ada is gone. Efua Asemota, who works with a federal task force, tells him the group is investigating 44 American women, all mothers, who seem to have walked voluntarily out of their lives and disappeared. Though a grimy Ada returns two weeks later, she can't remember her time away, and she tumbles down a rabbit hole trying to figure out what happened. Writing in tight, precise prose, Lynch weaves environmental disaster, feminist theory, and classical myth into a mesmerizing tale. Lovers of Margaret Atwood and Lauren Groff will be among the many enthralled.