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4.53  ·  Rating details ·  40 ratings  ·  19 reviews
"Chelsea Bieker's Godshot is an absolute masterpiece. A truly epic journey through girlhood, divinity, and the blood that binds and divides us, it is a feminist magnum opus of this, or any, time. Bieker is a pitch-perfect ventriloquist of extraordinary talent and ferocity. Imagine if Annie Proulx wrote something like White Oleander crossed with Geek Love or Cruddy, and ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: April 7th 2020 by Catapult
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  • Godshot by Chelsea Bieker
    Release date: Apr 07, 2020
    Enter for a chance to win one of twenty advance reading copies of GODSHOT: A NOVEL. For fans of Janet Fitch’s White Oleander and Emma Cline’s The ...more

    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 20 copies available, 1482 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jan 05 - Jan 26, 2020

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Community Reviews

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    Average rating 4.53  · 
    Rating details
     ·  40 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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    Paris (parisperusing)
    Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Recommends it for: lovers of cult stories with a hard bite of feminism
    Shelves: 2020, arc, debuts
    "Whatever's happened to you can either make you beautiful, or it will ruin you forever. You decide. … I mean, beautiful. I mean, deep and changed. Affected. Wise. When you see a woman like that, you know. She's beautiful because of her undoing. Beautiful because she rebirthed herself from ashes."

    Chelsea Bieker’s Godshot is a dynamite of a debut novel about the true grit of girlhood under the long arm of religion and patriarchy. The story dawns in the drought-stricken town of Peaches, California,
    T Madden
    Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    This is a perfect novel. More detailed review TK.
    Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: favorites
    Updated, actual review 1/18/20:

    I received an ARC from the publisher, opinions are my own.

    This book is so surprising on so many levels. It's about a teenage girl named Lacey May who lives in a drought-ravaged town called Peaches in California's central valley. A good chunk of the town is under the spell of a glitter-loving pastor named Vern, who uses the permeating scarcity of resources and desperation of people whose agricultural identity has withered to gain power for himself through the
    Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    “The loneliness of a monster can only become sentimental after it is dead”
    Godshot by Chelsea Bieker is a tightrope walk of a novel, with each chapter you slowly step further from normality and the madness takes over. No safety net can save you from falling for this intoxicating debut that is more than just a coming of age story for one young girl, it’s a journey into life, a breaking free of everything once known and trusted. Written with prose that suffocates and beautiful unsettling scenes
    Geonn Cannon
    Nov 12, 2019 rated it liked it
    This book is well written, and I liked the flawed and well-rounded characters, but I'm to the point where I cringe when I see a book described as "feminist" simply because of how often that translates to "terrible things happen to women, and they might have a few victories and eventually get to show their strength, but mostly it's just a series of bad things happening to them over and over." I'm clearly in the minority here based on the other reviews, but it's like the Lifetime Movie paradox. ...more
    Kimberly Parsons
    Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Holy hell, this book! GODSHOT is a dazzling, darkly funny debut from a writer whose charm, wit, and blistering intelligence will scorch your heart. With unsentimental compassion and unprecedented style, Chelsea Bieker steeps this brutal, harrowing story in hope. The prose shimmers and swerves--so full of gritty truths and resplendent beauty I drenched every page in highlighter.
    Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    For fans of Janet Fitch’s White Oleander and Emma Cline’s The Girls, Godshot is a dazzling literary debut by Rona Jaffe Award winner Chelsea Bieker about one teenage girl’s feminist awakening and her search for her missing mother. Forthcoming April 7, 2020!
    Elizabeth ✨
    Godshot is stunning. It's gritty and bleak and beautiful and glittering. It broke me down and filled me back up with hope. Set in Peaches, a small town in the parched Central Valley of California, this novel takes us through a tumultuous season of fourteen-year-old Lacy May Herd's already rugged life. The trauma she experiences, from men abusing their power and women who are complicit, is heartbreaking. But the author doesn't just tell us a story of sexual abuse, religious brainwashing, a ...more
    Brenda Scanzillo
    Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I haven’t read a book I liked as much as Godshot in a long time. Chelsea Bieker’s debut novel lays bare the desperation of a once-thriving California valley town in the time of climate change, where people would do anything - and believe anything - it takes to be delivered from the drought. Enter Pastor Verne, a charismatic leader who presides over the Gifts of the Spirit congregation, promising that if they stick to their assignments and don’t question his divinity, he will perform a miracle ...more
    Jennifer R
    Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: fiction
    I read this book every little chance I got--on the train to work, in between classes, in the last few minutes before sleep overtook me--and I regret it. Because Godshot deserves to be sat down and read through seriously, attentively, with care. This is a sit-by-the-fireplace-on-your-day-off-and-read kind of book.

    In Bieker's layered debut novel, drought has descended once again on the town of Peaches, California. Fourteen-year-old Lacey May must come to terms with the disappearance of her mother
    Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: debut-2020
    The cover of this novel is perfect. So are the pages in between. Bieker wrote an unflinching journey of girlhood, religious cults, and feminism. At the center is a girl and hew mother who, facing a climate disaster, find solace in a pastor’s community. Every page contains a raw reflection of our society and how women are treated, the appalling acts of men, and why we may all be doomed unless we do something about our damning actions. Combining brutal honesty and gritty humor, the novel is an ...more
    Aja Gabel
    Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Every word of this novel is searing and unflinching. It’s about a California that isn’t often depicted—the sun drenched and drought-rotted Central Valley. A place where faith falters and cults thrive. An exploration of the line between desire and belief, and the line between love and hate, this novel manages to be both brutal and beautiful. A real achievement.
    Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: read-in-2019
    We aren't ready for this book. In a way, I am mad at this book because Bieker essentially hit on all the topics I've been striving for years to unravel in my own novel, and she does it so expertly that it almost makes me think I should quit. But that is a compliment to her and to Godshot, because holy wow. I don't want to give too much away about this book, but I guess I will say that if the glittery cover and provocative title isn't enough to snag you, then maybe a story about eco-apocalypse, ...more
    Genevieve Hudson
    Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Devastating. Masterful. Unlike anything you've ever read. More detailed review TK.
    Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: from-our-clients
    Still thinking about this book and its themes - motherhood, childhood, religion - long after I’ve finished reading.
    Meagan Hansen
    Received as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

    I don't even know where to start. I loved this book but found myself cringing often. Not because the writing was bad, its actually exceptional.....I cringed at everything Lacey May went through. I was disturbed and delighted by this book. It threw me on the ground, but then picked me up and gave me a massive warm hug. Definitely glad I read this.
    Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
    “Whatever’s happened to you can either make you beautiful, or it will ruin you forever. You decide.”

    I have so many feelings about this book. I'll start by saying that the writing is phenomenal. Such beautiful sentences and such a pleasure to read them. It reminded me of White Oleander many different times. Really excellent imagery in her writing. The atmosphere of the draught was so stifling, so real that I felt parched as I read the story.

    “I don’t think they were her ideas. I think they were
    Jan 05, 2020 marked it as to-read
    One of my most anticipated reads of 2020! The synopsis compares it to "White Oleander." Oh God, please let it be true! ...more
    Elle Rudy
    Dec 05, 2019 marked it as to-read
    Shelves: 2020, netgalley
    *Thanks to Catapult & Netgalley for an advance copy!
    Lolly K Dandeneau
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    Oct 28, 2019
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    Angela Lashbrook
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    Dec 13, 2019
    Brenon Gipe
    rated it it was amazing
    Nov 10, 2019
    Chelsea Bieker
    Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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    Chelsea Bieker is from California’s Central Valley. She is the recipient of a 2018 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and the author of two forthcoming books, the novel GODSHOT (April 2020) and the story collection, COWBOYS AND ANGELS (2021). Her writing has been published in Granta, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Catapult, Joyland, The Cincinnati Review, The Normal School, No Tokens, Cosmonauts ...more
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