The unforgettable novel about small town secrets from the National Book Award-winning, Oprah Book Club-picked, Barack Obama favourite, James McBride.
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE 2023 KIRKUS FICTION PRIZE
‘I keep thinking every time I read one of his books, “That’s his best book.” No. THIS is his best book’ ANN PATCHETT
‘A murder mystery locked inside a Great American Novel . . . a charming, smart, heart-blistering and heart-healing novel’ NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
‘We all need – we all deserve – this vibrant, love-affirming novel’ WASHINGTON POST
In 1972, when workers in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, were digging the foundations for a new development, the last thing they expected to find was a skeleton at the bottom of a well. Who the skeleton was and how it got there were two of the long-held secrets kept by the residents of Chicken Hill, the dilapidated neighbourhood where immigrant Jews and African Americans lived side by side and shared ambitions and sorrows.
As the story moves back in time to the 1930s and the characters’ stories overlap and deepen, it becomes clear how much the people who live on the margins struggle and what they must do to survive. When the truth is finally revealed about what happened on Chicken Hill, McBride shows us that even in dark times, it is love and community – heaven and earth – that sustain us.