We have an exciting novel to tell you about that has just been published in Akashic’s Kaylie Jones Books imprint. THE YEAR of NEEDY GIRLS by debut novelist, Patricia A. Smith is a 21st century version of the Salem witch trials.
Bradley, Massachusetts, is your typical small New England town. It’s divided by a river which separates the East and West sides. The East End is made up of poor, crowded triple-deckers, Most Precious Blood Parish and a Brazilian immigrant community. On the West End, a wealthy community, lots of lovely grass lawns and Brandywine Academy for girls.
Deidre Murphy grew up in a working-class neighborhood similar to the East End, but escaped through education and now teaches at Brandywine Academy and lives with her partner, librarian, Sarah Jane (SJ) Edmonds in their first house on the West End. Deidre and SJ are publicly accepted, but are repeatedly made to feel like outsiders because they are gay.
Ten-year old, Leo Rivera from the East End is found dead under horrific circumstances that spook the town. Then a young student takes an opportunity to act out on a crush she has on the much-loved and admired, Miss Murphy. Her mother sees them, assumes the worst and suddenly Deidre finds herself the victim of false accusations fueled by homophobia. Everything changes for Deidre, SJ, the girls at Brandywine Academy and all of Bradley.
THE YEAR of NEEDY GIRLS erupts into a tense story about a small town swept up in bigotry and paranoia that sends the residents into a frenzied witch hunt. As Deidre and SJ navigate their personal dramas will their relationship survive? Much of this novel is about fear and Smith is an artist of prose, utilizing her palette to create a complex landscape of anger and ignorance.
I believe Smith’s novel is being published at an extremely relevant time. We must be so aware of our actions, words and motivations, especially at this time when the rules of justice, morality and ethics are under assault.
Patricia A. Smith‘s nonfiction has appeared in several anthologies including One Teacher in Ten: Gay and Lesbian Educators Tell Their Stories and One Teacher in Ten in the New Millennium: LGBT Educators Speak Out About What’s Gotten Better . . . and What Hasn’t. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in such places as Salon, Broad Street, Prime Number, and Gris-Gris. The Year of Needy Girls is her first novel. A native New Englander, Smith now lives in Chester, Virginia, with her partner.
Publisher, Kaylie Jones is the award-winning author of five novels and a memoir. She teaches writing at two MFA programs and lives in New York City. In addition to teaching and writing, she is now editing and publishing a limited number of novels in a boutique relationship with AKASHIC BOOKS.
You can purchase THE YEAR of NEED GIRLS:
KAYLIE JONES BOOKS https://kayliejonesbooks.com/
We are very fortunate to have one copy of THE YEAR of NEEDY GIRLS to giveaway. Just tell us the last novel you read that kept you reading well into the night because you just couldn’t put it down – it was that good. THE YEAR of NEEDY GIRLS is that good. We’ll announce a winner Monday.