Lone Women by Victor LaValle
July 14, 2023 11:45 AM - Subscribe

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.

[blurb from publisher's website]
posted by quatsch (4 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I received this in my first Night Worms package and have been anticipating it highly! I love everything I’ve read of LaValle’s, and this is no exception. Out of everything of his I’ve read this feels the most like Big Machine, but really it’s its own creature. I was surprised to find myself a little weepy at the ending, but I shouldn’t have been - LaValle does a consistently great job of wrenching feeling out of Weird.
posted by quatsch at 11:52 AM on July 14, 2023 [1 favorite]

Another big Victor LaValle fan here. I liked this a lot, and would recommend the audiobook to any audiobook people. Joniece Abbott-Pratt does a great job with the narration.

I enjoyed this review from Tor.com which gets into a little of the history LaValle used.

My one random aside would be that at one point the text has Adelaide lamenting something, and this Adelaide just doesn't seem the Adelaide's lament type.
posted by the primroses were over at 5:15 PM on July 14, 2023

currenting reading this. the writing is really great. and I have to say if your horror story has me so engrossed by the characters, writing, story before any horror elements are properly introduced...that is some strong work!
posted by supermedusa at 11:09 AM on September 4, 2023

Just finished it. I really loved this.

I did find some elements--generally the teasing approach to foreshadowing--a bit clunky, which is something I would absolutely not say about the finely crafted Ballad of Black Tom, but as an entire work I think I liked this even better.
posted by mark k at 11:18 AM on March 2

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