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The Bone Cay: A Novel (Hardcover)
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From the critically acclaimed author of All That's Bright and Gone comes an atmospheric thriller that unearths a cache of age-old secrets--and a hidden danger--in the Florida Keys.
Magda Trudell is the present-day caretaker of Whimbrel Estate, the Key West home of the famous poet Isobel Reyes. Isobel's suicide at the residence in 1918 has nearly overshadowed her creative legacy--but Magda, a botanist and avid historian, is determined to protect it. Over the past decade, Magda has lovingly restored the house to the exact condition Isobel would have known. And even though a fierce October hurricane is headed straight for the Keys, she isn't about to abandon her life's work to evacuate.
As the mighty storm makes landfall, the dangers mount. First, a fire and flood threaten to destroy the house. Then the storm claims most of Magda's supplies. When part of the house collapses, she unearths an old steamer trunk in the rubble that contains a woman's remains. Is there more to Isobel's story than Magda knows?
The unexpected appearance of a teenage girl and her father seeking shelter from the storm poses unnerving new questions. Are they really who they seem? And could they have a connection to the house's shadowy past? As the storm rages, Magda desperately tries to solve the real mystery of Isobel's death--and keep the living in one piece.
About the Author
Raised in the Detroit suburbs, Eliza Nellums now lives with her cat outside Washington DC. Her first novel All That's Bright and Gone was named as an Amazon Editor’s Pick for December, and was praised in the Washington Post and RealSimple Magazine. She is a member of the Metro Wriders, a weekly critique group that meets in Dupont Circle. An amateur botanist and avid gardener, she divides her time between plants, books, and cats.
Praise for The Bone Cay:
“Readers will be immersed . . . Nellums is a good storyteller.”
“A complex, unusual mystery combines obsession, determination, and danger swirling in the midst of a life-threatening storm.”
“An atmospheric and descriptive tale.”
—San Francisco Book Review
"Atmospheric and gripping. Eliza Nellums combines old mysteries with new dangers to create an evocative page-turner that will have you racing breathlessly to the end."
—Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"Original, powerful, and haunting, with language as lush as a tropical forest and a story that won’t let go. With this electrifying study of devotion and survival, Nellums takes you straight into the eye of the storm. Better hold on tight.”
—Tessa Wegert, author of Death in the Family and The Dead Season
Praise for All That's Bright and Gone:
"Sure to rouse emotions in this classic coming-of-age tale that fans of Jodi Picoult will love."
"[An] impressive debut."
—Publishers Weekly starred review
"Blends elements of literary fiction and domestic thrillers to explore the power of secrets, the resilience of children, and their ability to understand matters far beyond their years."
“Aoife’s poignant and endearing story will linger long after the final pages. This family-forward debut is one to be savored and shared.”
—New York Journal of Books
"Eliza Nellums All That’s Bright and Gone brought me to unashamed tears...This book is sure to touch the hearts of many people..Highly recommended."
"Gripping, funny, enormously affecting, it is a book about the deepest mysteries of all, and it will knock your socks off."
"A luminous debut. Eliza Nellums' six-year-old Aoife (pronounced "EE-fah", if you please) will knock you cock-a-hoop. A hero's journey, with possible angels, ghosts, and Teddies. It will change forever the way you look at the little girl next door."
—Alan Bradley, New York Times bestselling author of the Flavia de Luce mysteries
"A gripping and affecting debut that will leave you laughing. Prepare to fall in love with this beautiful mystery and six-year old Aoife. Eliza Nellums is one to watch."
—Rhiannon Navin, international bestselling author of Only Child
"All that a coming-of-age story should be. Endearing, funny, and poignant, you'll be charmed by six-year-old narrator Aiofe."
—Lesley Kagen, New York Times bestselling author of Whistling in the Dark
“Eliza Nellums has crafted a mesmerizing debut novel...A thoroughly engaging read!”
—Wendy Walker, bestselling author of The Night Before
"A dreamlike, enthralling whodunit for fans of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, filtered through the imaginative mind of a precocious six-year-old girl. An impressive debut.”
—A. J. Banner, USA Today and #1 Amazon bestselling author
“Heart-wrenching . . . Nellums takes her readers on a twisty carnival ride.”
—Susan Crawford, bestselling author of The Other Widow
“Triumphant . . . A gorgeously intimate work of art. Nellums has a grip like Virgil, and you won't want to let go.” —Meg Elison, author of The Book of the Unnamed Midwife
"A thoughtful, compelling, thrilling mystery with heart."
—Laurie Petrou, award-winning author of Love, Heather