In 1987, Muscovites Grigor and Nika Osinov vanished amid whispers of sorcery.
Over the summer, 17-year-old aspiring journalist Adrienne Cahill is accompanying her stepfather, Dan, an anthropologist, to Siberia to search for the mysterious couple, rumored to now have several children. Unlike Dan, whose belief in the Osinovs borders on religious fervor, hardcore skeptic Adrienne is certain they’re just a legend—and an article disproving their existence is sure to earn her a college scholarship. However, in the middle of the trip, devastating and shocking events turn Adrienne into a believer. After she’s captured by the Osinovs, she promises herself she will make it back home, and she sets her escape plan in motion: Make the younger Osinov brother, Vanya, fall in love with her and take her back to civilization. Over time, the pair bond, and Adrienne inevitably falls in love with him. She also falls in love with the rest of the family: tough-as-nails matriarch, Nika; Vanya’s sweet-tempered sister, Clara; and brooding elder brother, Marat. Can Adrienne convince them to let her go? Does Adrienne’s rescue necessarily mean the Osinovs’ discovery? Is there truth to the stories about their mystical powers? Elements of magical realism give the story a dreamlike quality, while Adrienne’s wickedly sarcastic sense of humor keeps the story grounded in reality. Whiteness is assumed.
Haunting. Mesmerizing. Completely unforgettable. (Fiction. 13-adult)