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When a young woman leaves her family to join a secret off-the-grid community headed by an enigmatic leader, she discovers that belonging comes with a deadly cost, in this “stunning debut,” (The New Yorker) “perfect for fans of Philip Roth’s American Pastoral and the film Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene”(Booklist, starred review). At nineteen, Berie encounters a seductive and mysterious man at a bus station near her home in North Carolina. Shut off from the people around her, she finds herself compelled by his promise of a new life. He ferries her into a place of order and chaos: the Ash Family farm. There, she joins a community living off the fertile land of the mountains, bound together by high ideals and through relationships she can’t untangle. Berie—now renamed Harmony—renounces her old life and settles into her new one on the farm. She begins to make friends. And then they start to disappear.
“An excellent debut, Molly Dektar probes life in a cult with a masterful hand, excavating the troubled mind of a young woman,” (Publishers Weekly). The Ash Family explores what we will sacrifice in the search for happiness, and the beautiful and grotesque power of the human spirit as it seeks its ultimate place of belonging. “A captivating and haunting tale,” (New York Journal of Books).