Daughter of the Merciful Deep by Leslye Penelope

ISBN-13: 9780316378222
Publisher: Redhook

Daughter of the Merciful Deep

 

fuses magical realism, folklore, and African American history into a profound and rousing fantasy… This potent work packs a punch.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

Deftly combining historical fantasy and magical realism with myths and legends from the African diaspora…”Library Journal, starred review

“a mesmerizing tale that deftly blends history and magic.” — Nicole Glover

A woman journeys into a submerged world of gods and myth to save her home in this powerful historical fantasy that shines a light on the drowned Black towns of the American South. 

“Our home began, as all things do, with a wish.”

Jane Edwards hasn’t spoken since she was eleven years old, when armed riders expelled her family from their hometown along with every other Black resident. Now, twelve years later, she’s found a haven in the all-Black town of Awenasa. But the construction of a dam promises to wash her home under the waters of the new lake.

Jane will do anything to save the community that sheltered her. So, when a man with uncanny abilities arrives in town asking strange questions, she wonders if he might be the key. But as the stranger hints at gods and ancestral magic, Jane is captivated by a bigger mystery. She knows this man. Only the last time she saw him, he was dead. His body laid to rest in a rushing river.

Who is the stranger and what is he really doing in Awenasa? To find those answers, Jane will journey into a sunken world, a land of capricious gods and unsung myths, of salvation and dreams made real. But the flood waters are rising. To gain the miracle she desires, Jane will have to find her voice again and finally face the trauma of the past.

“…fuses magical realism, folklore, and African American history into a profound and rousing fantasy… Jane’s character leaps off the page, buoyed by a supporting cast who breathe life into the narrative. Meanwhile, the romance that develops between Jane and Daniel adds sweetness. This potent work packs a punch.”

Publishers Weekly

starred review

“As magic entwines with the Black American experience in the early 20th century, an ode to Black communities and the way memories can last generations emerges… Miracles can happen—if we remember.”

Kirkus

Daughter of the Merciful Deep skillfully weaves the mythology of the age-old gods, with all their feuds and foibles, through this poignant and mystical story. It will leave you filled both with the hope of all that can be when one is reminded of the magic found in family and community, and the unimaginable power of generational memory and the thread that binds us to the ancestors.”

Rita Woods

Hurston/Wright Legacy Award–winning author

“Deftly combining historical fantasy and magical realism with myths and legends from the African diaspora… fans of Penelope’s The Monsters We Defy will be thrilled”

Library Journal

starred review

“While Penelope addresses the harrowing real-life facts of drowned Black towns, magic and Jane’s growth offer hope and levity. With its foundation in history, enchanting underwater scenes, and endearing townsfolk, this original novel should appeal to readers of both fantasy and historical fiction.”

Booklist

Daughter of the Merciful Deep is a mesmerizing tale that deftly blends history and magic. It’s a thoughtful, timely, and immensely compelling read. Readers will find much to admire and marvel at from the first page to the very last!”

Nicole Glover

The Playlist

Music that inspired me while I wrote the novel: