ARC BOOK REVIEW: Lone Woman by Victor Lavalle

Publication Date: March 28, 2023
Format: Kindle
Genre:  Mystery/horror Fiction

Publisher: One World
 282 pages
Buy: Kindle | Hardcover


Adelaide Henry carries an enormous steamer trunk with her wherever she goes. It’s locked at all times. Because when the trunk opens, people around Adelaide start to disappear.

The year is 1915, and Adelaide is in trouble. Her secret sin killed her parents, forcing her to flee California in a hellfire rush and make her way to Montana as a homesteader. Dragging the trunk with her at every stop, she will become one of the “lone women” taking advantage of the government’s offer of free land for those who can tame it—except that Adelaide isn’t alone. And the secret she’s tried so desperately to lock away might be the only thing that will help her survive the harsh territory.

Crafted by a modern master of magical suspense, 
Lone Women blends shimmering prose, an unforgettable cast of adventurers who find horror and sisterhood in a brutal landscape, and a portrait of early-twentieth-century America like you’ve never seen. And at its heart is the gripping story of a woman desperate to bury her past—or redeem it.


I received this book from the publisher through I am leaving this review voluntarily.

I loved how this book combined historical fiction with magical realism to create a historical horror mystery.  The book sucked me in from the beginning when we find Adelaide escaping her parents farm after burning her house with her parents dead bodies in it.  She knows that she will probably be accused of killing them but she knows she needs to escape.  The main thing she takes with her is a large heavy trunk that is locked shut. 

She is trying to find a place to escape to change her life.  She finds Montana.  And there she also discovers harsh winters, people who are there to help each other and some that are only willing to help as long as you fit in. Adelaide doesn't fit in.  She is one of only two black women in this harsh country and the townsfolk don't seem to want to see them succeed. 

With a family of swindlers on her tail she tries to make a life for herself in a small cabin alone in the country.  There she finds friendship with another woman and her daughter, as well as two others in town. All lone women. 

When what Adelaide is hiding escapes the trunk the countryside is turned upside down and Adelaide needs to confront her fears, accept her reality and the thing in the trunk in order to survive. 

Really interested read with a feminist thread. 

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