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Sorrowland

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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  155 ratings  ·  137 reviews
Vern - seven months pregnant and desperate to escape the strict religious compound where she was raised - flees for the shelter of the woods. There, she gives birth to twins, and plans to raise them far from the influence of the outside world.

But even in the forest, Vern is a hunted woman. Forced to fight back against the community that refuses to let her go, she unleashes
...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by MCD
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  • Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon
    Sorrowland
    by

    Release date: May 04, 2021
    A triumphant, genre-bending breakout novel from one of the boldest new voices in contemporary fiction

    Vern—seven months pregnant and desperate to escap
    ...more

    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 20 copies available, 3963 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Feb 25 - Mar 05, 2021

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Average rating 4.14  · 
    Rating details
     ·  155 ratings  ·  137 reviews


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    Roxane
    Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    Sorrowland, from Rivers Solomon, is a fantastical, fierce reckoning. It is the story of Vern, a young girl fleeing the only life she has ever known, her abusive husband, the cult he leads, to create a life for herself and her babies. But the tentacles of Cainland, the home she left, are always following her as she grows into a young woman and something more, something terrifying and powerful that just might allow her to break free from all that haunts her. Sorrowland is gorgeous and the writing, ...more
    Paromjit
    This is an astoundingly ambitious and harrowing novel from Rivers Solomon, destined to be one of 2021 must reads, a stellar sci-fi fantasy Gothic Horror, although it has to be said in many ways it defies easy categorisation. An alternative world that touches on numerous critical contemporary issues, and the hate, brutality, violence, sorrow and tragedies of American history. Vern is a 15 year old traumatised and abused albino black girl, 7 months pregnant who flees the Cainland cult for the wood ...more
    Peter
    Feb 28, 2021 rated it liked it
    Crossbreed
    Rivers Solomon is an author who crafts stories about those marginalised, those seeking a voice, and those who experience inequality and intolerance. The writing is poetic and edgy, as Rivers uses a style to add another dimension to a very unique story. I was really enthused from the outset of Sorrowland to embark on a journey into a challenging plot and a unique set of characters. Rivers takes the opportunity to layer her novel with several contemporary messages on black slavery, anti-
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    Farrah
    Feb 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
    ⭐ 4 these Rivers run deep Stars ⭐

    Sorrowland tells the story of Vern, a pregnant teenager who escapes the cult Cainland. Rather than re-enter society she births and raises her babies in the woods. However Vern soon learns that Cainland's powers are far-reaching and more life altering than she could have imagined.

    So that's what the book is about in the literal sense. But everything it's saying is in the subtext. And it has a lot to say about a vast number of topics, including race, religion, sexu
    ...more
    Charlie Jane Anders
    Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon contains so much wisdom and insight, wrapped in an abundance of passion and fury and tenderness. This is the first book I've read in ages that I'm certain I will come back to again and again, because there are rich gorgeous passages that I already know will mean more to me on subsequent readings. There is so much going on in this book, too: the spectre of what happens when rebellion is co-opted, our longstanding practice of using Black bodies for cruel and unethical ...more
    Elle
    Dec 21, 2020 marked it as to-read
    Just got approved for this one woooooo!! Loved The Deep and can’t wait to read this!!!!!


    *Thanks to Farrar, Straus an Giroux & Netgalley for an advance copy!
    ...more
    Nina ✿ Looseleaf Reviews ✿
    *I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review*

    This book is a hard one to review given the enormity of what it achieves.

    First, I want to express my surprise at the lack of male-gaze in a topic where I would expect it. The author is nonbinary and I can hear that perspective in the writing. The main character, Vern, is a teen mother who was forced into marriage at 15 by a cult her mother joined. It's so easy to fetishize this character, or to reduce her entire identity to motherh
    ...more
    Hsinju
    Content warnings: animal killings, self harm, childbirth, alcohol abuse, cult, gaslight, pedophilia, blood, death, drowning, rape, attempted forcing of medication, torture, hallucination, brainwash, non-consensual medical experiment, reclaimed d slur, suicide, cannibalism?, voyeurism? drug abuse, child abuse

    The craft of fiction at its finest.

    I did have minor issues with some parts that might be ARC issues (time inconsistency and wording) but the overall story is too rich to not love. Definitely
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    cyanus
    Dec 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    After reading An Unkindness of Ghosts I knew I wanted to read everything Rivers Solomon ever wrote. I was not disappointed. Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC of this book, it was a privilege to read it.
    Sorrowland is a challenging and dark story that follows Vern and her life since she ran away from a place that was meant to be her home. It's a truly wonderful read, with many points along the way where you just have to take a few moments to breathe and gather yourself. It's one of those books tha
    ...more
    Alaina
    Feb 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    Sorrowland definitely followed the same path as The Deep with me. I was confused on so many things that were happening. I also had endless questions forming in my brain too. Some of the answers that I received at the end left a bittersweet feeling in my mouth. I was honestly really sad about some things towards the last couple of pages.. but it feels good to have answers at the same time.

    In it, you will meet Vern. Now she i
    ...more
    Sage Agee
    Feb 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    I LOVE THIS SO MUCH! I’ve been highly anticipating all of Rivers Solomon’s works, and this did not disappoint. I feel like their work is getting darker each book, and the ghostly/horror elements in this made it impossible to put down.

    The story of 15-year-old Vern and her twin children escaping an abusive cult, as she is developing an illness that causes what seem to be hallucinations. In a way this felt like Lakewood mixed with Mexican Gothic but very much written by Rivers Solomon.

    I will neve
    ...more
    E.
    This was fucking stunning. Buddy read with Hsinju ...more
    Caleb
    Jan 18, 2021 rated it liked it
    After hearing so much praise for Solomon's The Deep, I was very excited to get my eyes on their newest novel. The ideas that underpin this story are compelling, and thoughtful, and visceral, and heart-breaking. Unfortunately, this story just didn't have the staying power that I came to expect.

    The first act of this novel is a model of good story-telling. Solomon perfectly brings the reader into Vern's reality as the character seeks to find identity in the wilderness outside the gates of her form
    ...more
    Ygraine
    Jan 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    (thanks to netgalley & merky books for an advance review copy!)

    sorrowland is the story of vern, her escape from a commune-turned-cult, her motherhood, her restless, righteous hunt for survival, for safety and for answers. it's also the story of state atrocities, overt & covert, of medical experimentation, of the body horror & body euphoria of transformation, of identity & feeling & being beyond the limits of language, of trauma and fury and also, insistently, tenderness.

    on a conceptual level, i
    ...more
    audrey
    Feb 02, 2021 rated it liked it
    Thank you Farrar, Straus and Giroux for providing an eARC of Sorrowland through Netgalley!

    When I first started this book I was really apprehensive about continuing. I am glad I did, but it was nothing like what I expected, to say the least. The writing was phenomenal, it flowed well and was easy to read, but the content at times got confusing. At one point it changed point-of-views for a couple of chapters with no warning whatsoever, something I was able to catch eventually with context clues. I
    ...more
    leo | 飛べ
    Jan 16, 2020 marked it as to-read
    There is no synopsis for this book yet, however I’m sure it’s going to be incredible and eye opening
    xTx xTx
    Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: 2021
    best book i read all year. yes, it's only like 16 days into 2021 but this book has a love-grip hold on me. it's just what i've been wanting to read for some time now. beautifully written. magnetic story with even more magnetic characters. i feel i would give too much away if i went into detail. but if you trust my reviews, trust that you will love this book. i want a part two. i want to thank Rivers Solomon for handing me their heart. ...more
    Mocha Girl
    Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    This book was provided by NetGalley for an honest review.

    Wow - Just Wow!

    While it's not fair to compare, I was a bit concerned because while I loved An Unkindness of Ghosts, I really wasn't a fan of The Deep - even though it had a great premise and execution. So I was truly hoping this novel would meet or exceed my expectations because my interest was again piqued by the synopsis and my appreciation of the author's writing style and storytelling ability.

    I wasn't disappointed - Solomon's story ta
    ...more
    Fanna
    Jan 16, 2021 marked it as definitive-tbr  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2021-releases
    ↣ an early digital copy received via netgalley
    Alyssa Bartoshevich
    I received an advanced reader's copy of this novel via Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

    Honestly, I will be shocked if this isn't one of the most popular novels in spring/summer 2021, at least within the sci-fi and LGBT lit circles. Sorrowland is at the same time poignant and hopeful, haunting and soothing, submersing the reader into a gothic America scarred by the very real history of our country.

    There isn't much I can say plot-wise without spoiling this novel. It is best expe
    ...more
    Bandit
    Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    If someone went perusing the library of my mind palace, they’d surely notice some recurring themes, things of special interest, irresistible attractors including but not limited to cults, governmental psych experiments, superpowers, survival under extreme conditions, conspiracy theories, etc. This book checked all those boxes and then some. Get out of my mind, author. Or don’t, just visit at your leisure and then spin me magnificent tales about all the things I love in fiction.
    Which is to say
    ...more
    Mary ♥
    Feb 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    4.5/5 stars

    E-ARC kindly provided by Netgalley ♥

    Gogo said it was the world, not the people, who were broken. People believed whatever they needed to, to maintain a thread of power in a society that systematically stripped them of it.

    Trigger warnings include: animal cruelty, self harm, sexual abuse, homophobia, cults, transphobia, ableism, fatphobia, drug abuse, gaslighting, explicit sexual content, mutilation, human experimentation, racism, torture, cannibalism and manipulation. Please proceed
    ...more
    Jasmine Loehr
    Feb 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    Sorrowland follows Vern-a 15 year old who is seven months pregnant and desperate to flee the strict religious compound where she has grown up. She escapes to the shelter of the woods where she gives birth to twins, Howling and Feral. Though she tries to exist on her own terms, Vern is a hunted woman. Forced to fight back against the community that refuses to let her go, she unleashes a brutality far beyond what is ordinary. Vern is changing, morphing into something stronger, something more conne ...more
    Adam
    Feb 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: 2021-release
    This was a fantastic book. I'm not sure how Rivers Solomon sustained the intensity of Vern's story and Vern's emotional journey so completely throughout the book, but they did it, and did it convincingly. This had an emotional resonance and bone-deep ache in its exploration of the loss and the abuse of Black bodies in US history (and US present), but it was also a page-turning, propulsive narrative. I hope non-genre readers will be adventurous enough to read this book (it doesn't stick with any ...more
    River
    Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an arc of this wonderful book :)

    PREFACE!

    Trigger warnings for the book!!

    Racism, homophobia, transphobia, compulsory hetersexuality, religious extremism, cultism, body horror, gore, animal-death/abuse, child-death/abuse, sexual (?) abuse, domestic violence, arranged/forced marriages (kind of), cop brutality (kind of(?)). (Sorry if I forgot anything!)

    (if you just want to know what rep we get, please scroll down-down-down to the end of the revie
    ...more
    Lina
    This is a very thought provoking horror story that explores many sensitive themes such as colonization, racism, homophobia, and religious extremism, all with great care. The plot, themes, horror, pacing, and writing style did a very good job of keeping me engaged throughout the story, so my interest didn't drop at any point of the story. While not all of the characters were likeable, Vern in particular, the nature of the story and the depth of the characters made it so this did not take away fro ...more
    Ash
    Feb 12, 2021 marked it as own  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: arcs
    Thank you to NetGalley and Farrar, Straus and Giroux for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
    Josh Hedgepeth
    Omg omg omg, I'm so excited; NetGalley granted me an e-arc of this.
    I'll be reading this one very soon!
    ...more
    ☽Ari
    Feb 01, 2021 marked it as to-read
    I got this baby!!!
    ...more
    Sunyi Dean
    Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I love the writing and voice, the beautiful imagery and the lush, strange, alternate-world setting.

    Some parts of the worldbuilding I struggled with (for example, I wasn't sure how usual or unusual it was for Vern to leave her babies for hours at a time in the woods--are kids unusually tough? Mine would have been dead most likely!) and it took me a long time to grasp what was going on in her settlement (no spoilers).

    It's definitely a book where you need to sit back, and let it tell its story in
    ...more
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    Rivers Solomon writes about life in the margins, where they are much at home. They live on a small isle off the coast of the Eurasian continent.

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