The Book of M
By Peng Shepherd
Amazon Best Book of the Year
Elle Best Book of the Year
Refinery29 Best Book of the Year
The Today Show Best Book of the Summer
NPR On Point Best Book of the Summer
Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award For Debut Speculative Fiction Winner
Strand Bookstore Book HookUp Book
Powell’s Books Staff Pick
Indigo Books Staff Pick
“…[A] moving treatise on love and loss, with the bonus of a stunning denouement.” —The Guardian
“Eerie, dark, and compelling, this will not disappoint lovers of The Passage and Station Eleven.” —Booklist
Set in a dangerous near future world, The Book of M tells the captivating story of a group of ordinary people caught in an extraordinary catastrophe who risk everything to save the ones they love—a sweeping debut that illuminates the power that memories have not only on the heart, but on the world itself.
One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears—an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories.
Ory and his wife Max have escaped the Forgetting so far by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day Max’s shadow disappears too.
Knowing that the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to Ory, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up the time they have left together. Desperate to find Max before her memory disappears completely, he follows her trail across a perilous, unrecognizable world, braving the threat of roaming bandits, the call to a new war being waged on the ruins of the capital, and the rise of a sinister cult called Transcendence that worships the shadowless.
As they journey, each searches for answers: for Ory, about love, about survival, about hope; and for Max, about a new force growing in the south that may hold the cure.
Like The Passage and Station Eleven, this haunting, thought-provoking, and beautiful novel explores fundamental questions of memory, connection, and what it means to be human in a world turned upside down.
“A beautiful and haunting story about the power of memory and the necessity of human connection, this book is a post-apocalyptic masterpiece and the one dystopian novel you really need to read this year.” — Bustle
“One of the most inventive and lyrical end of world scenarios I’ve ever encountered in a book. Better… than anything you might see on the news.” —NPR On Point Radio
“This is an apocalyptic thriller with heart. . . . The Book of M is devastating and inventive as Shepherd examines the value of memory, packing in imaginative twists as she goes.” — USA Today
“Eerily magical . . . At the heart of the novel is a timeless question about the meaning of memory.” — Time
“It is an incredible concept, and she is a brilliant, brilliant new fiction writer. This is someone who you’re eventually going to have on this couch—she’s that good.” — Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author, on the Today show
“Eerie, dark, and compelling, this will not disappoint lovers of The Passage (2010) and Station Eleven (2014).” — Booklist
“Brilliant debut . . . The Book of M is right up there with Station Eleven: achingly beautiful literary novels about a changed world.” — Refinery29
“Fans of Station Eleven, listen up!…This one is g-r-e-a-t.” — Book Riot
“For fans of Station Eleven, this summer release will have you engulfed from beginning to end.” — Popsugar
“Reminiscent of books like Stephen King’s The Stand, Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven, and Michael Tolkin’s NK3 . . . she keeps the journey interesting, makes us care about her characters, and invites us to think about how we are all the stuff of dreams.” — Toronto Star
“In her debut novel, The Book of M, Peng Shepherd has created a fantastical scenario where people not only lose their past but can also re-create the world any way they want . . . Shepherd’s tale pushes the post-apocalyptic story in a new and exciting direction, making readers ponder questions about reality, self-perception and relationships.” — Shelf Awareness
“Captivating . . . Like The Passage and Station Eleven, this haunting, thought-provoking, and beautiful novel explores fundamental questions of memory, connection, and what it means to be human in a world turned upside down.” — TheMarySue.com