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“An intellectual page-turner” set in a secretive countercultural community by the author of The Beans of Egypt, Maine (O, The Oprah Magazine).
It’s the height of summer 1999, when local Maine newspaper the Record Sun receives numerous tipoffs from anonymous callers warning of violence, weapons stockpiling, and rampant child abuse at the nearby homeschool on Heart’s Content Road. Hungry to break into serious journalism, Ivy Morelli sets out to meet the mysterious leader of the homeschool, Gordon St. Onge—referred to by many as “The Prophet.”
Soon, Ivy ingratiates herself into the sprawling Settlement, a self-sufficient counterculture community that many locals suspect to be a wild cult. Despite her initial skepticism—not to mention the Settlement’s ever-growing group of pregnant teenage girls—Ivy finds herself irresistibly drawn to Gordon.
Then, a newcomer—a gifted, disturbed young girl with wild orange hair—joins the community, and falls into a complicated relationship with the charismatic Prophet. When the Record Sun finally runs its piece on the leader of the Settlement, lives will be changed both within and beyond the community, in this novel by a writer described by the New York Times Book Review as “a James Joyce of the backcountry, a Proust of rural society.”
Publisher: Grove Press