'It's a terrible story and one way to tell it is this: two girls in love and a fog of wasps cursed the place forever after...'
'Brimming from start to finish with sly humour and gothic mischief, Plain Bad Heroines is a brilliant piece of exuberant storytelling by a terrifically talented author' SARAH WATERS
1902, Brookhants School for Girls: students Flo and Clara are madly in love with each other, as well as completely obsessed with The Story of Mary MacLane, the scandalous debut memoir by 19 year old MacLane. A few months later they are found dead in the woods, after a horrific wasp attack, the book lying next to their intertwined bodies. Within five years the school is closed. But not before three more people die on the property, each in a troubling way.
Over a hundred years later, Brookhants opens its doors once more, when a crew of young actresses arrive to film a high-profile movie about the rumoured Brookhants curse. And as past and present become grimly entangled, it's soon impossible to tell quite where the curse leaves off and Hollywood begins...
For fans of Sarah Waters, Curtis Sittenfeld and Shirley Jackson, Plain Bad Heroines is by turns sharply witty and deeply unsettling: a modern gothic novel that is utterly immersive and hugely compelling.
'Ingenious, jaw-dropping...Plain Bad Heroines is a queer roar and it's terrifying and it's a goddamned triumph' Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the World
'Plain Bad Heroines wears its brilliance lightly...it's dark, sweet, and addictive. Emily Danforth displays all the gothic wit of Edward Gorey and all the soaring metafictional ambitions of David Mitchell, alongside a generosity and humanity that is uniquely her own. Simply one of the best books I've read in the last decade' Joe Hill, New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman
'Full of Victorian sapphic romance, metafictional horror, biting misandrist humour, Hollywood intrigue, and multiple timeliness - all replete with evocative illustrations that are icing on a deviously delicious cake' O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE