Sorrowland

Paperback

ISBN:
978-1-5291-1874-2
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4 stars (17 reviews)

8 editions

Sapphic found family scifi with horror overtones

5 stars

I found nothing to dislike about this book aside from one thing: I'd have liked to explore more about the main character's love interest's background. This is eminently forgiveable though. The writing is rich and lyrical and the world Solomon creates is recognizable and believable even as she populates it with fantastical creatures. Even as the main character becomes one of those creatures.

Review of 'Sorrowland' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

4.5

Vern has grown up in a commune, one that is organized by a religious cult. As a bright child, she begins to question the beliefs of the adults raising her and chafes at the rules imposed on her. At the age of fifteen, she has already been married off to the cult leader and is pregnant. Desperately unhappy and with no one she can relate to, she escapes into the surrounding woods.

Rivers Solomon has drawn Vern's character in a well-written, intelligent manner. Vern is a young woman who is torn between some of the teachings of Cainites and what her intelligence perceives to be her truth. It is important to the story that the Cainites are African-Americans who separate themselves from the surrounding economy, especially white culture. The members of this community have sought to live together and help one another without persecution and mistreatment. However, as Vern …

Review of 'Sorrowland' on 'Storygraph'

5 stars

*I received a free review copy in exchange for an honest review of this book. 

Haunting and visceral, SORROWLAND is the story of a Black intersex teenage mother and her children after leaving a religious compound for the woods. It has a subtle kind of intensity where each passage is bearable, but any literal description of the plot tends toward a catalog of horrors. 

This book has such a beautiful way with language. The words weave and roll; mesmerizing whether describing turning a deer’s sinew into bowstring, the ever-changing wonder of Vern’s children growing up, or the strange and monstrous changes taking over her body. Since it is a horror story about a mother, I’ll clarify that her relationship with her children is not a source of horror. The way the children are described is full of love, exasperation, and endearment, usually in equal parts, wrapped in the tension between …

Review of 'Sorrowland' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and MCD for giving me an arc of this book.

Sorrowland is a glittering yet haunting tale of a woman’s fight for survival as she faces the demons of her past and the monsters lurking in her future. From the very first page, I was enthralled by the lush writing style of this novel. Even when I was not sure where Solomon was going to take the book next, I was pulled into this story and did not want to leave it. In fact, I finished it in two sittings, not wanting to put it down. The three-part sections of this novel were very compelling as they became a reflection of Vern and her metamorphosis. And with every new development and plot twist, I was tugged deeper into the world Solomon created. The relationships portrayed were raw and evocative, and I adored the found family trope. …

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