“An extraordinary novel sure to enchant readers of Sarah Waters as well as those looking for a thrilling and transporting gothic tale.” —Julia Fierro, author of The Gypsy Moth Summer
The author of The Man Who Noticed Everything, an award-winning collection of short stories, presents his debut work of full-length fiction, “a witty and disturbing horror novel . . . as if Henry James had written an issue of Tales from the Crypt” (Bennett Sims, author of A Questionable Shape).
Loosely based on the lives of spirit photographer William H. Mumler and his wife, Shadows in Summerland transports readers to 1859 Boston, where those who promise access to the otherworldly—mediums, spiritualists, and psychics—are celebrated. This embrace of illusion and intrigue provides the perfect hunting ground for con artists and charlatans—men like William Mumler.
When William teams up with Hannah, a shy young girl who sees and manifests the dead, they are welcomed into the drawing rooms of the city’s elite. But the couple’s newfound fame and fortune draw grifters and rogues into their circle, including someone who will bring the afterlife closer to them than they could ever imagine.
Spanning three decades, Shadows in Summerland “recalls an era no less gullible than the present one . . . Van Young’s prose skillfully illuminates his gothic tale of greed, obsession, and murder” (Publishers Weekly).
“A fabulous and weird addition to the contemporary fantastic.” —Laird Barron, author of Black Mountain