THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER AN OPRAH BOOK CLUB PICK ‘Deeply moving’ Sarah Winman, author of Still Life ‘Remarkable’ Afua Hirsch, author of Brit(ish) ‘A sweeping epic … Outstanding’ Daily Mail Immerse yourself in a celebration of Black womanhood and an epic tale of the stories that span generations.
Ailey Pearl Garfield grows up between the City in the north and summers spent in her mother’s small hometown of Chicasetta, Georgia. From an early age, she finds herself in a battle for belonging that’s made all the more difficult by a hurt in her past, as well as the whispers of women—her mother, Belle, her sister, Lydia, and a maternal line reaching back two centuries—that urge Ailey to succeed in their stead.
To come to terms with her identity, Ailey embarks on a journey through her family’s past, uncovering the shocking tales of generations of ancestors—Indigenous, Black, and white—in the deep South. In doing so Ailey must learn to embrace her full heritage, a legacy of oppression and resistance, bondage and independence, cruelty and resilience that is the story—and the song—of America itself.
‘Mesmerising… magnificent’ Independent
‘Astonishing… A great work infused with love and honesty’ Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple
‘Gripping, gorgeous. A sweeping family saga that is also history at its most intimate and vital’ Stef Penney, author of The Tenderness of Wolves
LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION • SHORTLISTED FOR THE CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE • LONGLISTED FOR THE ASPEN LITERARY PRIZE
New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year • Time 10 Best Books of the Year • Washington Post 10 Best Books of the Year • People 10 Best Books of the Year • Booklist 10 Best First Novels of the Year