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Julia Armfield

Private Rites

Private Rites

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From the bestselling author of Our Wives Under the Sea, a haunting novel of three sisters navigating queer love and faith at the end of the world.

There’s no way to bury a body in earth which is flooded
It is a fact consigned to history along with almost everything else


It’s been raining for a long time now, for so long that the lands have reshaped themselves. Old places have been lost. Arcane rituals and religions have crept back into practice.

Sisters Isla, Irene and Agnes have not spoken in some time when their estranged father dies. A famous architect revered for making the new world navigable, he had long cut himself off from public life. They find themselves uncertain of how to grieve his passing when everything around them seems to be ending anyway.

As the sisters come together to clear the grand glass house that is the pinnacle of his legacy, they begin to sense that the magnetic influence of their father lives on through it. Something sinister seems to be unfolding, something related to their mother’s long-ago disappearance and the strangers who have always been unusually interested in their lives. Soon, it becomes clear that the sisters have been chosen for a very particular purpose, one with shattering implications for their family and their imperilled world.

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