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Plain Bad Heroines

By: Emily M. Danforth

Illustrator: Sara Lautman

Our story begins in 1902, at The Brookhants School for Girls. Flo and Clara, two impressionable students, are obsessed with each other and with a daring young writer named Mary MacLane, author of a scandalous bestselling memoir that transforms these acolytes into bold rebels. To show their devotion to Mary, the girls establish their own private club and call it The Plain Bad Heroine Society. They meet in secret in a nearby apple orchard, a seeming paradise, the setting of their wildest happiness and, ultimately, of their macabre deaths. This is where their bodies are later discovered, a copy of Mary’s book splayed beside them, the victims of a swarm of stinging, angry yellow jackets. Less than five years later, the School for Girls closes its doors forever—but not before three more people mysteriously die on the property, each in a most troubling manner.

Over a century later, the now abandoned and crumbling Brookhants is back in the news when wunderkind writer, Merritt Emmons, publishes a breakout book celebrating the queer, feminist history surrounding the “haunted and cursed” gilded-age institution. Her bestseller inspires a controversial horror film adaptation starring celebrity actor and lesbian it girl Harper Harper playing the ill-fated heroine Flo, opposite B-list actress and former child star Audrey Wells, as Clara. But as Brookhants opens its gates once again, and our three modern heroines arrive on set to begin filming, past and present become grimly entangled—or perhaps just grimly exploited—and soon it’s impossible to tell where the curse leaves off and Hollywood begins.

A story within a story within a story and featuring black-and-white period illustrations, Plain Bad Heroines is a devilishly haunting, modern masterwork of metafiction that manages to combine the ghostly sensibility of Sarah Waters with the dark imagination of Marisha Pessl and the sharp humor and incisive social commentary of Curtis Sittenfeld into one laugh-out-loud funny, spellbinding, and wonderfully luxuriant read.

Black-and-white illustrations.

ISBN: 9780062942852

JLG Release: Apr 2021


Sensitive Areas: Language: Strong Language , Violence: General , Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes
Topics: LGBTQ , Lesbians , Coming of age , Horror , Gothic

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Awards & Honors

2021 Alex Awards Winner
2020 Editor's Choice Adult Books - Booklist

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Library Journal

“A creepy pleasure from start to finish… An effortlessly compelling read, anchored by the engaging, unnamed narrator.” “A creepy pleasure from start to finish… An effortlessly compelling read, anchored by the engaging, unnamed narrator.”

Book Details

ISBN

9780062942852

First Release

April 2021

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

9" x 6"

Page Count

640

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

William Morrow (Adult)

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Language: Strong Language , Violence: General , Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes

Topics

LGBTQ, Lesbians, Coming of age, Horror, Gothic,

Standard MARC Record

Download Standard MARC Record

Cover Art

Download Cover Art

Book Genres

Horror, Mystery

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