Long before Jeffrey Eugenides gave us the Pulitzer Prize-winning Middlesex, he delivered this dark jewel of a novel. Set in small-town America, this study of a broken family of suicidal sisters will shock you. It is so compelling, you will be absolutely hooked. Wonderful! Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane comes a chilling mysteryPrep meets The Crucible.
Its senior year at St. Joans Academy, and school is a pressure cooker. College applications, the battle for valedictorian, deciphering boys texts: Through it all, Colleen Rowley and her friends are expected to keep it together. Until they cant.
First its the schools queen bee, Clara Rutherford, who suddenly falls into uncontrollable tics in the middle of class. Her mystery illness quickly spreads to her closest clique of friends, then more students and symptoms follow: seizures, hair loss, violent coughing fits. St. Joans buzzes with rumor; rumor blossoms into full-blown panic.
Soon the media descends on Danvers, Massachusetts, as everyone scrambles to find something, or someone, to blame. Pollution? Stress? Or are the girls faking? Only Colleenwhos been reading The Crucible for extra creditcomes to realize what nobody else has: Danvers was once Salem Village, where another group of girls suffered from a similarly bizarre epidemic three centuries ago . . .
Inspired by true eventsfrom seventeenth-century colonial life to the halls of a modern-day high schoolConversion casts a spell. With her signature wit and passion, New York Times bestselling author Katherine Howe delivers an exciting and suspenseful novel, a chilling mystery that raises the question, whats really happening to the girls at St. Joans?
"A piercing first novel...lyrical and portentous." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Deftly written and intricately imagined...sizzling." Newsweek
"Haunting...compelling...Eugenides creates an allegory so thought-provoking it leaves a profound, indelible impression." Harpers Bazaar
"Weaves a sinuous spell...shot through with sneaky black humor...intoxicating." Esquire
"Piercing....With its incantory prose, its fascination with teenage tragedy, and its preoccupation with memory and desire and loss...The Virgin Suicides insinuates itself into our minds as a small but powerful opera in the unexpected form of a novel." The New York Times
"A rare first novel that ends wondrously, on a note of profoundest, most elegant grief." John Hawkes
"Displays a certain brilliance...Eugenides has a voice dreamy with mythology and a point of view carved from the poignancy of adolescence. The resulting sensibility is both elegant and quirky, and it infuses his first novel with a graceful, reasoned confidence....Wistful, gloomy, and chillingly funny at once...A fiercely antipastoral novel one with a shocking, elegiac sadness hidden in the eaves." Boston Globe
Praise for Katherine Howes Conversion:
#4 on the Top Ten Summer 2014 Kids' Indie Next List!
“Howe is a formidable researcher and writer, and this creepy, gripping novel is intimately layered, shedding light on the challenges teenage girls have faced throughout history.”—The New York Times Book Review
“A chilling guessing game of a novel that will leave readers thinking about the power (and powerlessness) of young women in the past and present alike.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A simmering blend of relatable high-school drama with a persistent pinprick of unearthliness in the background.” —Booklist
“Howes writing is suspenseful and effortlessly draws the reader in.”—VOYA, starred review
“The author has a gift for capturing the teenage mind-set that nears the level of John Green (The Fault in Our Stars), with the bonus of a strong sense of history with the Salem-set melodrama.” —USA Today
“How is it possible for a novel to be funny, suspenseful, tender, wickedly satiric, and terrifying all at once? When its written by the bewitchingly talented Katherine Howe.”—Julia Glass, National Book Award-winning author of And the Dark Sacred Night and Three Junes
“Smart, compelling, exciting, and completely absorbing. Katherine Howe is stunningly deft at blurring the lines between the emotional and the supernatural. I recommend clearing your calendar before you start reading this novel.”—David Liss, bestselling author of The Twelfth Enchantment
“Brilliant, scary, and impossible to put down, Conversion weaves together the Salem witch trials with a mysterious present-day illness that sweeps through an all-girls high school. Its the perfect storm of suspense, history, romance, and teen angst. A five-star read!”—Nancy Ohlin, author of Beauty and Always, Forever
With startling immediacy and dark, deadpan humor, the collective narrator of The Virgin Suicides
tells a story in a voice that speaks for an eclectic group of men who once stalked life's secrets on the lawns and sidewalks of an affluent American suburb in the seventies... men whose lives have been forever changed by their fierce, awkward obsession with the five doomed Lisbon sisters: brainy Therese, fastidious Mary, ascetic Bonnie, libertine Lux, and pale, saintly Cecilia whose spectacular demise inaugurates "the year of the suicides."
Juxtaposing the most common and the most gothic, the humorous and the tragic, author Jeffrey Eugenides creates a vivid and compelling portrait of youth and lost innocence. He takes the reader back to the elm-lined streets of middle-class America, to the sights, the smells, and sensations of backyards and schoolyards filled with wonder and mystery. This is the debut novel that caused a sensation and won immediate acclaim from critics and colleagues — a tender, wickedly funny tale of love and terror, sex and suicide, memory and imagination that no reader will soon forget.
About the Author
Katherine Howe is the New York Times bestselling author of The Physic Book of Deliverance Dane and The House of Velvet and Glass. She is a lecturer in American Studies at Cornell University. She is also a direct descendant of three women accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials, one who was hanged and two who survived. Her books have been published around the world in twenty-three languages to date.