There’s the world you can see. And then there’s the one you can’t. Welcome to The Morningside.
by Téa Obreht
Random House, March 2024
(via The Gernert Company)
When Silvia and her mother finally land in a place called Island City, after being expelled from their ancestral home in a not-too-distant future, they end up living and working at The Morningside, a crumbling luxury tower where Silvia’s aunt, Ena, serves as the superintendent. Silvia feels unmoored in her new life because her mother has been so diligently secretive about their family’s past. Silvia knows almost nothing about the place she was born and spent her early years; nor does she know why she and her mother had to leave. But in Ena there is an opening: a person willing to give a young girl glimpses into the folktales of her demolished homeland, a place of natural beauty and communal spirit that is lacking in Silvia’s lonely and impoverished reality.
Enchanted by Ena’s stories, Silvia begins seeing the world with magical possibilities, and becomes obsessed with the mysterious older woman who lives in the penthouse of the Morningside. Bezi Duras is an enigma to everyone in the building; she has her own elevator entrance, and only leaves to go out at night and walk her three massive hounds, often not returning until the early morning. Silvia’s mission to unravel the truth about this woman’s life, and her own haunted past, may end up costing her everything.
Startling, inventive, and profoundly moving, The Morningside is a novel about the stories we tell, and the stories we refuse to tell, to make sense of where we came from, and who we hope we might become.
Téa Obreht is the internationally bestselling author of The Tiger’s Wife, which won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her second novel, Inland, was an instant bestseller, won the Southwest Book Award, and was a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Her work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, and Zoetrope: All-Story, among many others. Originally from the former Yugoslavia, she now resides in Wyoming.