Rainbow Black: A Novel (Paperback)

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Rainbow Black: A Novel By Maggie Thrash Cover Image
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Staff Reviews


Bleak yet tender, this novel discusses the struggles of growing up in rural New England and the failings of both the criminal justice system and the foster care system. Lacey's grief, trauma, and road to adulthood unfold against the chaos and fervor of the Satanic Panic as she navigates who she is and what she desires to become after the unspeakable happens. More than anything, however, Thrash examines the lengths we will go to for the ones we love and how love of all kinds-- familial, platonic, and romantic-- holds dominion over our lives. — Bethany Marsfelder

April 2024 Indie Next List


“The setting: 1980s New Hampshire, a society roiled by suppressed memories. The characters: two young teens, parents convicted of child abuse arising from these memories. Maggie Thrash does not shy away in this compelling story.”
— Willard Williams, Balin Books, Nashua, NH

Description


I've loved Maggie Thrash's work for years, and Rainbow Black is going to set so many new hearts aflame—murder, intrigue, queer love, dark humor AND satanic panic? Welcome to the Maggie Thrash Fan Club, world!—Emma Straub, New York Times bestselling author of This Time Tomorrow

For readers of Donna Tartt and Ottessa Moshfegh comes a brilliant, deliriously entertaining novel from the acclaimed author of Honor GirlRainbow Black is part murder mystery, part gay international fugitive love storyset against the ’90s Satanic Panic and spanning 20 years in the life of a young woman pulled into its undertow.

Lacey Bond is a 13-year-old girl in New Hampshire growing up in the tranquility of her hippie parents’ rural daycare center. 

 Then the Satanic Panic hits. It’s the summer of 1990 when Lacey ’s parents are handcuffed, flung into the county jail, and faced with a torrent of jaw-dropping accusations as part of a mass hysteria sweeping the nation. When a horrific murder brings Lacey to the breaking point, she makes a ruthless choice that will haunt her for decades.

 As an adult, Lacey mimes a normal life as the law clerk of an illustrious judge. She has a beautiful girlfriend, a measure of security, and the world has mostly forgotten about her. But after a tiny misstep spirals into an uncontrolled legal disaster, the hysteria threatens to begin all over again.

 Rainbow Black is an addictive, searing, high-octane triumph, an imaginative tour de force about one woman’s tireless desire to be free.

About the Author


Maggie Thrash is the author of the critically acclaimed graphic memoirs Honor Girl (a Los Angeles Times Book Prize nominee) and Lost Soul, Be At Peace, as well as two novels for young adults. Rainbow Black is her adult debut. Born and raised in Atlanta, she lives in New Hampshire.

Praise For…


"Stirring . . . . Part mystery, part unsparing social commentary and part queer love story, Lacey’s personal history reads a little like Demon Copperhead’s—if he were a lesbian in New Hampshire." — Washington Post

"This propulsive mindblower of a novel makes narrative hay out of the Satanic Panic of the ‘80s—but it’s also a terrifying murder mystery, and even a quirky but nuanced queer coming-of-age novel . . . . A darkly hilarious, risk-taking riot of ripped-from-the-headlines plotlines with real, cut-to-the-quick pain, this wild ride is unforgettably great. — Amazon Best of the Month Pick

"Thrash does a terrific job of making every character both singular and nuanced . . . . Thrash turns trauma, injustice, and hideous bad fortune into a story about resilience, reinvention, and love." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"A gripping story . . . . Readers will be stirred" — Publishers Weekly

“In this stunning and intense adult debut from YA author Thrash, Lacey is a nuanced character whose complex inner life as both a teen and a woman injects urgency into every hurdle she faces. At once a rivetingly dramatic procedural and an intimate portrait of a relationship forged in trauma, Rainbow Black boldly confronts the lingering shadows of guilt, betrayal, and secrecy.” — Booklist

"Darkly funny, haunting and captivating." — Booktrib

"I've loved Maggie Thrash's work for years, and Rainbow Black is going to set so many new hearts aflame—murder, intrigue, queer love, dark humor AND satanic panic? Welcome to the Maggie Thrash Fan Club, world!" — Emma Straub, New York Times bestselling author of This Time Tomorrow

"This is a welcomed delight to queer readers who crave murderous melodrama packed within a coming-of-age novel that's constantly (and literally) hyperventilating with lurid excess and extraordinary detail. Lacey is a resilient character to cheer for." — Bay Area Reporter

"Rainbow Black is exactly what a novel ought to be—funny and harrowing, weird, wise and incredibly deft. I was not expecting to be as moved as I was, or to spend hours after finishing thinking about what I'd read. Come for the Satanic Panic, stay for the wine fraud." — Julia Armfield, author of Our Wives Under the Sea

"Rainbow Black is an addictive, searing, high-octane triumph, an imaginative tour de force about one woman’s tireless desire to be free." — Red Carpet Crash

"Strikingly relevant to the present . . . . Creating characters like Lacey is what Thrash does best. She takes a character who seems unremarkable and throws them into the deep end, left to fend for themselves in a swirling pit of torment as despair. And even though they shouldn’t, they somehow always manage to keep going forward." — Autostraddle

"A layered novel that questions identity as much as it does collective responsibility, Rainbow Black offers something for any reader to love. At its core, it is a coming-of-age tale, its lovable and quirky main character embodying our own insecurities and desires to feel loved, no matter where we come from or who we become." — The Big Thrill

"Rainbow Black seamlessly balances complex themes while remaining ridiculously entertaining. Maggie Thrash is a strong literary voice and an immense talent." — Ione Gamble, author of Poor Little Sick Girls and founding editor in chief of Polyester zine



Product Details
ISBN: 9780063286870
ISBN-10: 0063286874
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: March 19th, 2024
Pages: 416
Language: English