Vendor
Borchardt Agency
Published by
Atria (2014)
Current material
MS: Complete Edited
Original language
English
BACK

THE LONGINGS OF WAYWARD GIRLS

by Brown, Karen

The dark-side of a seemingly perfect Connecticut suburb comes to light when one woman’s long-buried secrets refuse to stay in the past, in this riveting debut novel.

It’s an idyllic New England summer in 1974, and Sadie is a precocious only child on the edge of adolescence. It seems like July and August will pass lazily by, just as they have every year before. But one day, Sadie and her best friend play a seemingly harmless prank on a neighborhood girl. Soon after, that same little girl disappears from a backyard BBQ—and she is never seen again.

Twenty years pass, and Sadie is still living in the same, quiet suburb. She’s married to a good man, has two beautiful children, and seems to have put her past behind her. But when a boy from her old neighborhood returns to town, the nightmares of that summer begin to resurface, and its unsolved mysteries finally become clear…
Chilling in the best possible ways, this is an engrossing page-turner by a skilled writer of psychological suspense. Karen Brown is the author of Little Sinners and Other Stories, which won the 2011 Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and Pins and Needles: Stories, which was the recipient of AWP’s Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction. Her work has been featured in The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Short Stories, The New York Times, and Good Housekeeping. She teaches creative writing and literature at the University of South Florida.

Available rights (1)

Language Territory Type Vendor Status
German World All

Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Sebastian Ritscher

Available View on Rightsdesk

Comments

Brown has a talent for evocative detail, but her ability to explore the perversities of memory and desire in haunting prose is her greatest strength

Review: Publishers Weekly

A heart-stopping novel of suspense that’s as intelligent as it is compelling, as beautiful as it is disturbing. Brown’s skill, empathy and sensitivity make this debut stand apart, and stand out. The astute observations, evocative atmosphere and bone chilling scenes make for moving, provocative read. A star is born!

Quote: M.J. Rose

The Longings of Wayward Girls is an enthralling account of how a daughter follows in her mother's footsteps...but not too closely. Brown tells a wonderfully suspenseful and eerie story as she goes back and forth between Sadie's childhood and her adult life, and the result is a novel full of mysteries, surprises, and the best kinds of psychological revelations. Once you've discovered this haunted world, you won't want to leave it.

Quote: Margot Livesey

In the time between playing with Barbies and puffing on stolen cigarettes, girl’s games can turn dangerous—and sometimes fall far over the line. In The Longings of Wayward Girls, the past returns to plague the present with a vengeance that can cost a woman her husband and children. Brown’s haunting prose sets the mood for the heartbreaking choices made by mothers and daughters.

Quote: Randy Susan Meyers

The Longings of Wayward Girls caught me by the throat from the first page. The dangling mystery and tale of girlhood friendships reeled me in, and I loved Brown’s ability to move the reader fluidly back and forth through time. By the book's end, as the final truths are exhumed, I felt like I'd grown up with these characters. Brown has deftly crafted a first novel that will touch a chord inside anyone who has harbored a haunting secret, or been buffeted by the conflicting crosswinds of coming of age.

Quote: Lee Woodruff

More like this