IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.
INSTEAD IT WAS THE LAST.
Iris Chapel and her five elegant sisters, all of them heiresses to the Chapel firearms fortune, live cloistered in a lavish Victorian mansion. Neglected by both a distant, workaholic father and a mentally troubled mother—who believes their home is haunted by the victims of Chapel weapons—the sisters have grown up with only each other for company. They long to escape the eerie fairy tale of their childhood and move forward into the modern world, but for young women in 1950s Connecticut, the only way out is through marriage.
Yet it soon becomes clear that for the Chapel sisters, marriage equals death.
When the eldest sister walks down the aisle, tragedy strikes. The bride dies mysteriously the very next day, leaving her family and the town in shock. But this is just the beginning of a chain of disasters that will make each woman wonder whether true love will kill her, too. Only Iris, the second-youngest, finds a way to escape—but can she outrun the family curse forever?
Sarai Walker, the acclaimed author of the cult-hit novel Dietland, building off the Gothic tradition of Shirley Jackson, brings to life this riveting, deliciously twisted feminist tale, a gorgeous and provocative page-turner about the legacy of male power and the cost of female freedom.
Sarai Walker is the author of the novel Dietland, which has been published in more than a dozen countries and adapted as a television series for AMC. She has lectured on feminism and body image internationally, and has spoken about these topics widely in the media. Her articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian and elsewhere, and she worked as a writer and editor on an updated version of Our Bodies, Ourselves. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Bennington College and a PhD in English from the University of London. She lives in Philadelphia.