Lone Women: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Victor LaValle gets better and better with every new novel. A master of literary horror, he takes literal monsters and ghosts—in this case in the historical context of early 20th century Montana homesteaders—and uses them to reflect back on our contemporary society and all of its metaphorical monsters and ghosts. In the harsh and solitary landscape of Montana's expansive plains, Lone Women is a meditation on building alternative communities and families. It's also a deeply feminist tale that lambasts white and anti-trans feminisms. And if all of this grand thematic ambition makes reading LaValle sound like work, don't be fooled. None of this depth comes at the expense of a damn good read: suspenseful, terrifying, with twists I never saw coming. 

— From Rachel's Picks


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.

About the Author

Victor LaValle is the author of seven works of fiction: four novels, two novellas, and a collection of short stories. His novels have been included in best-of-the-year lists by The New York Times Book Review, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, The Nation, and Publishers Weekly, among others. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Book Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the Key to Southeast Queens. He lives in the Bronx with his wife and kids and teaches at Columbia University.

Praise For…

“Victor LaValle is one of the most exciting authors working in the horror genre today, and with this new novel he turns his skills at suspense and terror to the American West. Hold your breath as you read, but LaValle has built a brutal and compellingportrait of early-twentieth-century America that may just keep you up at night.”Chicago Review of Books
“If you haven’t read a LaValle novel, prepare to stock up. You’ll want more once you’ve sped through this propulsive concoction of genre tropes—from western themes to gothic twists . . . LaValle combines chills with deep insights into our country’s divides.”Los Angeles Times, “10 Books to Read in March”
“A blend of historical fiction and horror that you won’t be able to put down.”—The Root, “March 2023 Books by Black Authors We Can't Wait to Read”
“[A] tense horror novel that’ll have you flipping pages faster than you can say ‘keep the lights on’. . . A well-plotted, genre-blending tale that ratchets up the suspense and weaves mystery throughout (what, we ask, is in that trunk?), Lone Women is must-read fiction.”Readers Digest, “52 Best Books by Black Authors You’ll Want to Know About”
Lone Women is a searing and unsettling mixture of historical detail, western imagery, and terrifying twists and turns, from an author who continues to reinvent horror with every page.”Crime Reads, “20 Horror Novels to Look Out for in 2023”

“LaValle’s vivid, three-dimensional characters are always a draw, and this fascinating cast is a real treat, plus he introduces lesser-known pieces of American history in a way that never feels didactic. . . . Highly recommended for historical fiction readers just as much as die-hard horror fans.”Vulture, “31 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2023”

“LaValle’s work is always darkly magical, suspenseful and deeply compelling. . . . [In] Lone Women LaValle tells the story of Adelaide, a homesteading woman in 1915 Montana with secrets—and a giant steamer trunk. Expect richness, surprise and beauty from this visionary new rendering of the historic American West.”Salon, “22 books we're looking forward to in 2023”

“Beguiling . . . Acrobatic storytelling, both out there and down-home.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A counter to the typical homesteading narrative, this moody and masterful western fires on all cylinders. Readers are sure to be impressed.”Publishers Weekly

Product Details
ISBN: 9780525512080
ISBN-10: 052551208X
Publisher: One World
Publication Date: March 28th, 2023
Pages: 304
Language: English