In a village in a medieval fiefdom buffeted by natural disasters, a motherless shepherd boy finds himself the unlikely pivot of a power struggle that puts all manner of faith to a savage test, in a spellbinding novel that represents Ottessa Moshfegh's most exciting leap yet
Little Marek, the abused and delusional son of the village shepherd, believes his mother died giving birth to him. One of Marek's few consolations is his enduring bond with the blind village midwife, Ina, who suckled him when he was a baby. For some people, Ina's ability to receive transmissions of sacred knowledge from the natural world is a godsend. For others, Ina's home in the woods is a godless place.
The people's desperate need to believe that there are powers that be who have their best interests at heart is put to a cruel test by their depraved lord and governor, especially in this year of record drought and famine. But when fate brings Marek into violent proximity to the lord's family, new and occult forces arise to upset the old order. By year's end, the veil between blindness and sight, life and death, and the natural world and the spirit world will prove to be very thin indeed.
Format/pages: paperback / 320 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books