"WONDERFULLY STRANGE." --Mark Haddon
"A MASH-UP OF MARGARET ATWOOD AND ROALD DAHL." --Lady Magazine
A beguiling, irresistibly immersive debut novel about sixteen sisters in a walled garden, and what happens to their carefully constructed world when one girl starts asking questions about life outside.
Fourteen-year-old Calamity Leek and her sisters spend their days tending white roses and memorizing the lessons in Aunty’s Appendix, a multi-volume compendium of show tunes, beauty regimens, and twisted creation myths. Calamity knows the Appendix front to back, and she is Aunty’s favorite, destined for particular greatness. But when her restless sister Truly Polperro gets too curious about life beyond their Wall of Safekeeping, she cracks Calamity’s world wide open. Calamity needs a new book. And she will have to write it herself.
With formidable imagination and brilliant strangeness, Paula Lichtarowicz's The First Book of Calamity Leek draws on fairytales and doublespeak to tell a story both classic and keenly modern. Calamity, fearless and wrenching, leads us to question the stories we ourselves live by.