About the Book

“Brilliant, unusual writing.” – The Chicago Tribune

“This book is so haunting, so carefully detailed, and so wonderfully written, we dare you not to recommend it to everyone you know.” – Powell’s Books

“Beautiful, poetic writing about how the past resonates through the generations.” - Booklist

* * *

It’s 1932, the Depression.

Things are evening out among people everywhere…

Fresh eggs are a luxury. Diamonds are a dream from another world. On the banks of the Mississippi River, Tennyson Fontaine and her sister, Hattie, play endless games of hide-and-seek and make up fantastical stories about the latest adventures of their wild dog, Jos.

But when their mother doesn’t come home and their father sets off to find her, the sisters are whisked away to Aigredoux.

Aigredoux. It sounds like a kind of candy. Something that might melt on your tongue and stain it bright pink.

But Aigredoux isn’t a candy; it’s a house. Once one of the grandest homes in Louisiana, it is now a vine-covered ruin, run by the austere Aunt Henrietta, her bitter servant Zulma, and a peacock whose shrieks sound like the screams of a lady.

Aunt Henrietta becomes convinced that she can use Tennyson and Hattie to save the family’s failing fortunes. But then Tennyson discovers the truth about Aigredoux, the secrets that have remained locked deep within its decaying walls.

Caught in a strange web of time, dreams, and history, Tennyson comes up with a plan to shine light on Aigredoux’s past and bring her mother home. But like so many plans, Tennyson’s plan has unexpected consequences …

Lesley M. M. Blume weaves a heartbreakingly evocative story, steeped in Southern lore, about a child’s struggle to come to terms with her family’s dark past.