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A Novel (Pre-Order, Feb 4 2025)

Erin Crosby Eckstine
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A strong-willed enslaved girl is haunted by her sister's ghost as she grapples with circumstances beyond her control, risking her life as the Civil War looms in this lush and tenderhearted debut.

Sixteen years old and enslaved since she was born, Junie spends her days on Bellereine Plantation in Alabama, cooking and cleaning alongside her family, and tending to the white master's daughter--her oldest friend, Violet. In the daytime, she entertains herself with poetry and imagines grand romances and faraway worlds. She fills her nights with secret explorations through the forest, consumed with grief over the sudden death of her older sister, Minnie.

When wealthy guests arrive from New Orleans, hinting at marriage for Violet and upending Junie's life, she commits a desperate act--one that rouses Minnie's spirit from the grave, tethered to this world unless Junie can free her. She enlists the aid of Caleb, the guests' coachman, and their friendship soon becomes something more. Yet as long-held truths begin to crumble, she realizes Bellereine is harboring dark secrets that can no longer be ignored.

With time ticking down, Junie begins to push against the current that has controlled her entire life. As she grapples with an increasingly unfamiliar world in which she has little control, she is forced to ask herself: When we choose love and liberation, what must we leave behind?


Erin Crosby Eckstine is an author of speculative historical fiction, personal essays, and anything else she's in the mood for. Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Eckstine grew up between the South and Los Angeles before moving to New York City to attend Barnard College. She earned a master's in secondary English education from Stanford University and taught high school English for six years. She lives in Brooklyn with her partner and their cats.


  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (February 4, 2025)
  • Language: English
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0593725115
  • ISBN-13: 9780593725115
  • Item Weight: 1.38 pounds
  • Dimensions: 6.13 x 0.91 x 9.25 inches


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