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“Emotionally wrenching. . . . Haunting (and haunted) in the best possible way.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Darkly compelling.” —Tom Perrotta

In the fall of 2018, a bomb goes off at a water-bottling plant in the mountains of southwest Virginia, an incident the FBI declares an act of ecoterrorism. Arrested at the scene is Chris Bright, a mountain hermit with a long history of activism. Unaccounted for—and presumed dead—is Mara Wood, an installation artist who in the last two years has lost her son and left her husband.

But Mara’s estranged husband David cannot quite believe she is dead, and as he goes about reconstructing the story of what happened, he begins to imagine an alternate narrative—one in which their son doesn’t die and his wife doesn’t leave him, one in which his wife doesn’t carry on a secret relationship with Chris Bright, a man bent on fighting back against the environmental despoliation of his Appalachian home. Lioness is a page-turning, heart-wrenching examination of extremism: What pushes people to act violently, and is that violence ever justified?

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Mark Powell's Lioness is an immersive rendering of the human quest for love and healing amidst a world on fire - a fire we have set and cannot tame." - Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle

"Mark Powell's Lioness is a force of nature: moody, twisty, stormy, and supercharged with the fierce blue voltage of top-notch storytelling. It's a riveting ecothriller that's also a profound exploration of grief - grief for one another, and grief for the earth. What a powerful novel." - Jonathan Miles

"Lioness is a darkly compelling portrait of an artist who evolves into a homegrown ecoterrorist. Mark Powell's brooding, twisty novel is packed with a distinctively American, highly explosive mixture of religion, art, sexual obsession, mental illness, and environmental menace." - Tom Perrotta

"The best Appalachian novelist of his generation." - Ron Rash

"A thriller with quickness and elegance, Lioness asks tough questions about our responsibilities to the natural world and to one another. In offering no easy answers, it achieves something beautiful and haunting. Mark Powell has written a gorgeous, enthralling, immensely readable novel that will hook you until the very last page." - Kayla Rae Whitaker

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