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Lone Women

Victor Lavalle


Following a horrific incident, Adelaide abandons the family farm where she has lived for all of her 31 years. She flees to isolated Montana in the far north, where she plans to disappear forever. This also happens to be the only US state in 1915 where unaccompanied women, even black women like Adelaide, are allowed to homestead and own land.

She takes little with her but a massive trunk, safeguarding the only key to its secure padlock on a length of twine around her neck. She keeps an anxious eye on the trunk at all times, terrified its mysterious contents might escape to wreak havoc.

Once she arrives at her claim, she realizes it in no way resembles the promised land she was led to expect. A freezing ‘spine-snapping’ gale constantly howls, while the flat land is barren and her little shack in a sorry state of disrepair.

And winter hasn’t even started yet. _Lone Women_ does not fit neatly into any particular genre or category. It includes aspects of the supernatural and magical realism, set against a true historical backdrop. Even as it describes the trials and adventures of a woman battling a hostile environment, it challenges the reader to consider serious themes such as race, gender and sexuality. Its very unconventionality is part of the book’s charm. Short chapters, accessible language and an action-driven plot ensure that the book is a satisfying page-turner.


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