When the Reckoning Comes

A Novel

by LaTanya McQueen

On Sale: 08/03/2021

When the Reckoning Comes

Enlarge Book Cover

When the Reckoning Comes

A Novel

by LaTanya McQueen

On Sale: 08/03/2021

Format:

About the Book

A haunting novel about a black woman who returns to her hometown for a plantation wedding and the horror that ensues as she reconnects with the blood-soaked history of the land and the best friends she left behind.

More than a decade ago, Mira fled her small, segregated hometown in the south to forget. With every mile she traveled, she distanced herself from her past: from her best friend Celine, mocked by their town as the only white girl with black friends; from her old neighborhood; from the eerie Woodsman plantation rumored to be haunted by the spirits of slaves; from the terrifying memory of a ghost she saw that terrible day when a dare-gone-wrong almost got Jesse—the boy she secretly loved—arrested for murder.

But now Mira is back in Kipsen to attend Celine’s wedding at the plantation, which has been transformed into a lush vacation resort. Mira hopes to reconnect with her friends, and especially, Jesse, to finally tell him the truth about her feelings and the events of that devastating long-ago day.

But for all its fancy renovations, the Woodsman remains a monument to its oppressive racist history. The bar serves antebellum drinks, entertainments include horrifying reenactments, and the service staff is nearly all black. Yet the darkest elements of the plantation’s past have been carefully erased—rumors that slaves were tortured mercilessly and that ghosts roam the lands, seeking vengeance on the descendants of those who tormented them, which includes most of the wedding guests. 

As the weekend unfolds, Mira, Jesse, and Celine are forced to acknowledge their history together, and to save themselves from what is to come.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

"Whether we know it or not, we are all haunted by history. LaTanya McQueen's When the Reckoning Comes makes that fact both startlingly real and beautiful. And while McQueen serves up stark lucidity and beauty, she doesn't hide from the darkness of the past, instead she makes meaning of it. This book is a wonder." - Rion Amilcar Scott, Author of The World Doesn't Require You

"LaTanya McQueen's When The Reckoning Comes is so deliciously uncomfortable there were moments where I had to put the book down, take a deep breath, and like Mira, its protagonist, urge myself to go further. This is a novel, like Octavia Butler's Kindred, that reminds its readers that as long as people don't acknowledge how much of the past still shapes the present, it will bring its whips, its hatchets, and fists to make us learn." - Megan Giddings, author of Lakewood

Resources

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780063035041
  • ISBN 10: 0063035049
  • Imprint: Harper Perennial
  • On Sale: 08/03/2021
  • Pages: 256
  • List Price:21.00 CAD
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / African American / Contemporary Women
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / Southern
  • BISAC3 : FICTION / Occult & Supernatural

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