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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

Vern, a Black woman with albinism, is hunted after escaping a religious compound, then she discovers that her body is changing and that she is developing extra-sensory powers.

Alone in the woods, she gives birth to twins and raises them away from the influence of the outside world. But something is wrong - not with them, but with her own body. It's itching, it's stronger, it's...not normal.

To understand her body's metamorphosis, Vern must investigate not just the secluded religious compound she fled but the violent history of dehumanisation, medical experimentation and genocide that produced it. In the course of reclaiming her own darkness, Vern learns that monsters aren't just individuals, but entire histories, systems and nations.

©2021 Rivers Solomon (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Sorrowland is a wonderland of fantastical and frightening, magical and real. At the centre of this world and leaping off the page is Vern: unstoppable, unforgettable and unlike anyone you have ever seen before." (Marlon James, Booker Prize-winning author)

"A fantastical, fierce reckoning...Sorrowland is gorgeous, and the writing, the storytelling, are magnificent. This country has a dark history of what it's willing to do to Black bodies, and Rivers Solomon lays that truth bare in a most unexpected, absolutely brilliant way." (Roxane Gay)

"A furious utopia. Utterly compelling, brilliant and terrifying. Sorrowland seizes the history of white supremacy, racist medical experimentation and the dream - and danger - of the commune, and gnashes it into something magnificent and truly reparative. An epic fantasy that interweaves righteous, large-scale confrontations with power, extremely sexy and moving erotic gothic horror, and exquisite, meticulous renderings of the daily life of parenting. This is a fairy tale for adults, spangled in the wreckage of the world. A gorgeous, singular and profound work." (Jordy Rosenberg, author of Confessions of the Fox)

What listeners say about Sorrowland

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A great performance for a great story

This book is breathtaking. The ending gave me goosebumps. The cult stuff is eerie, characters are complex and live, mystery is interesting and engaging. You don't know what will happen next and it keeps you on the edge. Sad, creepy and full of rage, I absolutely recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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Great.

I felt the ending was a bit rushed and overall the first half of the book was much stronger. The twists and turns kept me engrossed and the themes were original and exciting.

1 person found this helpful

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Wild

Surprising. Beautiful. Dark.
And for me, very relatable at the same time as it’s full fiction. Will read again.