From debut author Kit Mayquist, a propulsive and atmospheric modern gothic with all the splendor of The Great Gatsby . . . and all the secrets, lies, and darkness that opulence can hide
Med school dropout Lena is desperate for a job, any job, to help her parents, who are approaching bankruptcy after her father was injured and laid off nearly simultaneously. So when she is offered a position, against all odds, working for one of Boston’s most elite families, the illustrious and secretive Verdeaus, she knows she must accept—no matter how bizarre the interview or how vague the job description.
By day, she is assistant to the family doctor and his charge, Jonathan, the sickly, poetic, drunken heir to the family empire, who is as difficult as his illness is mysterious. By night, Lena discovers the more sinister side of the family, as she works overtime at their lavish parties, helping to hide their self-destructive tendencies . . . and trying not to fall for Jonathan’s alluring sister, Audrey. But when she stumbles upon the knowledge that the Verdeau patriarch is the one responsible for the ruin of her own family, Lena vows to get revenge—a poison-filled quest that leads her further into this hedonistic world than she ever bargained for, forcing her to decide how much, and whom, she's willing to sacrifice for payback.
The perfect next read for fans of Mexican Gothic, Tripping Arcadia is a page-turning and shocking tale with an unforgettable protagonist that explores family legacy and inheritance, the sacrifices we must make to get by in today’s world, and the intoxicating, dangerous power of wealth.
When Boston med school dropout Lena Gereghty, the narrator of Mayquist's seductive if flawed fever dream of a debut, arrives at the Verdeau family's imposing Back Bay mansion to start her badly needed new job, she has no inkling of the depravity and danger that await her. Hired to assist the family's full-time physician, Lena expects to focus on Byronically handsome Jonathan Verdeau, the favorite of his billionaire father, Martin, and reluctant heir apparent to the clan's corporate empire. Jonathan's issues beyond excessive drinking remain mysterious. Meanwhile, Lena would prefer to spend time with Jonathan's coolly glamorous sister, Audrey, who makes her own pulse quicken. Lena begins to grasp what a Faustian bargain she's struck after working her first bacchanal at the family's secluded country estate in the Berkshires, where she winds up treating myriad roofied revelers who have unwittingly OD'd. When she learns that Martin's takeover of her father's employer precipitated his firing, she begins plotting revenge. Ingenious plot twists abound, though Mayquist struggles to tie up everything convincingly. The louche flair the author displays, however, suggests he's capable of an even more satisfying second act. Agent: Emmy Nordstrom Higdon, Westwood Creative Artists.