A suspenseful, sexy novel that will keep you guessing
by Karen Brown
THE CLAIRVOYANTS is the story of two sisters, Martha and Del. Growing up, Martha feels responsible for her troubled younger sister, Del, a feeling encouraged by her parents, who are always asking her to look out for her more fragile sister. Del’s reckless behavior and disregard for herself and others worsens in high school, particularly after the death of a classmate, and eventually Martha is asked to help her parents carry out their decision to have Del committed to Ashley Manor. After one botched attempt at a visit, Martha has communicated with Del only via letters for years, and has meanwhile struggled to make her way through the world.
Now, Martha has landed in a rented apartment in a Victorian house near the university where she’s just started her first year. Away from her family for the first time, she attempts to build a new life, even as she is haunted by visions of the dead that may or may not be real. She is also tormented by the guilt she feels over her role in her sister’s institutionalization. So when Del unexpectedly shows up at her front door, Martha vows to take her in and look after her properly this time. But then Martha meets and falls in love with a mysterious young photography professor and her role as Del’s protector turns out to be far more complicated than she could have imagined. Martha struggles to balance her intense relationship with Del, and their past secrets, against her budding love interest, and her new life in a small town racked with fear after the mysterious death of a local young woman.
Karen Brown is the author of “Little Sinners and Other Stories”, which was named a Best Book of 2012 by Publishers Weekly, and “Pins and Needles: Stories”, which was the recipient of AWP’s Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction. Her first novel, “The Longings of Wayward Girls”, was published in 2013 by Washington Square Press to rave reviews. Her work has been featured in The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Short Stories, The New York Times, and Good Housekeeping. She teaches creative writing and literature at the University of South Florida.