I don't want to make her mistakes. I want to make my own.
Ten years ago, Cat's volatile mother, Mary, left her at her grandmother's house with nothing but a deck of tarot cards. But after her grandmother dies, Cat is forced to move in with Mary in New Orleans. When she discovers a picture of Mary holding a baby that's not her, she unravels a dark family history and questions her belief that Mary's mental health issues are the root of all their problems.
But as Cat explores the reasons for her mother's breakdown, she fears she is experiencing her own. Ever since she arrived in New Orleans, she's been haunted by strangely familiar visitors who know more than they should.
Unsure if she can rebuild her relationship with her mother, Cat is realizing she must confront her past, her future, and herself in the fight to try.
Albert Whitman & Company 2021
Death + grief, mental illness (bipolar disorder--mania + depression), suicide, child loss, stillbirth, the discussion of rape and sexual abuse, sexual content, language.
"A mixture of gritty realism and fantasy...Morgyn creates an atmospheric narrative that tackles some facets of mental illness and how some youths end up taking a parental role in their relationship with a mother or father. This magical realism story would be a good addition to larger collections and might prove welcome to those who do not have traditional households."
–School Library Journal (click to read full review)
"The discoveries are well paced, the setting enchanting. An enthralling dive into trauma, mental health, and mother-daughter relationships."
–Kirkus Reviews (click to read full review)
"Polished prose conjures vivid pictures...and Morgyn handles difficult topics skillfully, landing somewhere between Laurie Halse Anderson and Brenna Yovanoff on a realism-to-supernatural trauma scale."
–The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, recommended
"Morgyn draws readers in with an explosive start and then leads them deeper into the nuances of Cat’s familial history with a tale that creeps along to a crescendoing finish. Morgyn’s haunting and unsettling story features a narrator with an observant voice, told in alluring prose...this blends a difficult mother-daughter relationship with an atmospheric setting and a mystery touched by the ambiguously supernatural. Imaginary Girls (2011) meets Jellicoe Road (2008) in this sophomore novel for readers who enjoy stories with a strong sense of place."
June 24th, 2021: ALA Author Chat with librarian Amy Dittmeier.