The Ladies of Horror Fiction team is pleased to announce the 2020 Ladies of Horror Fiction Award for Best Debut.
The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
A young woman living in a rigid, puritanical society discovers dark powers within herself in this stunning, feminist fantasy debut.
In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law, Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity, like all the other women in the settlement.
But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.
Fascinated by the secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her.
To learn more about Alexis Henderson, visit Alexis Henderson’s profile in the LOHF Directory.
Congratulations to Alexis Henderson and the 2020 nominees for Best Debut:
Beneath the Rising, Premee Mohamed
Catherine House, Elisabeth Thomas
Fairest Flesh, K.P. Kulski
Lakewood, Megan Giddings
The Return, Rachel Harrison
Stay tuned as we continue to announce the 2020 Ladies of Horror Fiction Awards!