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Orpheus Builds a Girl

A novel by

'Bold, sinister and debate-provoking’ Kirsty Logan, author of Things We Say in the Dark

Gabriela has met a monster. He stole her sister.

When social unrest forces their family from their home in Cuba to Key West, Florida, sisters Gabriela and Luciana are suddenly immigrants. While the elder is quiet and cautious, the younger a fiery tearaway, in this unfamiliar place they are vulnerable and uncertain, and turn to one another.

When Luciana suddenly falls ill, she is taken to a doctor, Wilhelm von Tore, whose immediate obsession with her drives a wedge between the family. Gabriela can only watch as her desperate parents grant Wilhelm unlimited access to their younger daughter, hoping for a cure. He fills their home with the stench of flowers and treats Luci as a plaything.

When illness finally claims Luciana, Gabriela thinks they are free of this controlling man. But Wilhelm knows Luci is his destiny, and for him death is only the beginning.

Wilhelm creates a narrative of great love and all-consuming passion,  but through the cracks in his account there appears another. Gabriela will not let Wilhelm’s version of events go unchallenged. She tells the story of her sister Luciana, fearless and full of life, and of the delusional man who robbed her from her grave.

Based on a chilling true story Heather Parry’s debut tale is  "terrifyingly brilliant". She is one of the most interesting and talented British writers to emerge in recent memory. Orpheus Builds a Girl is "a sinister dark flower of a book, both intoxicating and beautiful" (Camilla Grudova)

Genre: Historical

Praise for this book

"Sinister, grotesque and strangely beautiful - this is an intensely gripping debut, the playground for vividly unforgettable characters and a twisting, seething story, all set on a background of mustily creeping dread. I loved every horrible moment." - Alice Ash

"An instant gothic classic. Parry's deft mastery of dual narrators and unflinching attention to macabre and horrifying detail makes for a read both unsettling and compelling." - Kenny Boyle

"A wild, creepy, compelling read." - Jan Carson

"Heather Parry is terrifyingly brilliant, one of the most interesting and talented British writers to emerge in recent memory. Orpheus Builds a Girl is a sinister dark flower of a book, both intoxicating and beautiful." - Camilla Grudova

"A tale of anguished and obsessive love, with a darker version of the truth scattered through it like shrapnel. In her unsettling debut, Heather Parry explores what it means to love and to live - which of our stories linger after death, and which remain impossible to hold. Sumptuously written and impossible to step away from, Orpheus Builds a Girl is a haunting melody of a book, which keeps playing long after the final page." - Katie Hale

"Heather Parry is a literary star of the future. I've been a fan of her writing for years, and this novel is all I hoped for and more. Bold, sinister and debate-provoking." - Kirsty Logan

"A deliciously macabre voyage through one man's grotesque lunacy and the destruction he leaves in his wake. Parry skilfully evokes the horror at the heart of the tale, painting a series of hallucinatory images as the narrative reaches an extraordinary finale, where the organic is pushed into monstrous proportions." - Martin MacInnes

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