Book Review: Lone Woman by Victor LaValle


Title: Lone Women

By: Victor Lavalle

Genre: Horror

Pages: 240

Release Date: March 21st, 2023

Publisher: One World

Rating: ★★★☆☆


Summary from Goodreads:

Blue skies, empty land—and enough room to hide away a horrifying secret. Or is there? Discover a haunting new vision of the American West from the award-winning author of The Changeling.

Adelaide Henry carries an enormous steamer trunk with her wherever she goes. It’s locked at all times. Because when the trunk is opened, people around her start to disappear...

The year is 1914, and Adelaide is in trouble. Her secret sin killed her parents, and forced her to flee her hometown of Redondo, California, in a hellfire rush, ready to make her way to Montana as a homesteader. Dragging the trunk with her at every stop, she will be one of the "lone women" taking advantage of the government's offer of free land for those who can cultivate it—except that Adelaide isn't alone. And the secret she's tried so desperately to lock away might be the only thing keeping her alive.

Told in Victor LaValle's signature style, blending historical fiction, shimmering prose, and inventive horror, Lone Women is the gripping story of a woman desperate to bury her past—and a portrait of early twentieth-century America like you've never seen.


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There were really high hopes for this book after reading the synopsis, but that ending... 

I have to say one thing about this author before I jump into the story itself. LaValle has a wonderful smooth way of putting words on paper and I found the flow of this read really easy to follow. 

My grip with this book is the story itself. I loved the mystery in the beginning. Adelaide's parents are dead. Did she do it? Or does she know who did? And what's with the heavy trunk she's hauling around like its full of gold? 

As the story progresses, the mystery behind the trunk is finally revealed. A murderous creature kept hidden from the world by its keeper, Adelaide. Then the whole thing fell apart...

The mystery was gone, the story stalled and a bombshell of a climax that made absolutely no sense dropped. It was like the author did a 180 and completely scrapped their storyline to start over. 

If it wasn't for the excellent writing, I don't think I would have finished this book. 

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. 

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