In the middle of a market in India, a man’s shadow disappears. As rolling twenty-four-hour news coverage tries to explain the event, more cases are discovered. The phenomenon spreads like a plague as people learn the true cost of their lost part: their memories.
Two years later, Ory and his wife Max have escaped ‘the Forgetting’ by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods in Virgina. They have settled into their new reality, until Max, too, loses her shadow.
Knowing the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to the person most precious to her, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up what little time they have left before she loses her memory completely, and desperately follows her trail.
On their separate journeys, each searches for answers: for Ory, about love, about survival, about hope; and for Max, about a mysterious new force growing in the south that may hold the cure. But neither could have guessed at what you gain when you lose your shadow: the power of magic.
A breathtakingly imaginative, timeless story that explores fundamental questions about memory and love—the price of forgetting, the power of connection, and what it means to be human when your world is turned upside down.
About the author
Peng was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where she rode horses and trained in classical ballet. She earned her M.F.A. in creative writing from New York University, and has lived in Beijing, London, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and New York. The Book of M is her first novel.
Visit Peng online at pengshepherd.com, and find her on Facebook and Twitter: @pengshepherd.
‘A voice that’s as emotionally compelling as GONE GIRL, a novel that’s as thrilling as THE STAND. Prepare to fall in love with your own shadow. And to lose sleep’
David Lipsky, New York Times best-selling author of ALTHOUGH OF COURSE YOU END UP BECOMING YOURSELF and ABSOLUTELY AMERICAN
‘THE BOOK OF M is exciting, imaginative, unique, and beautiful. Shepherd proves herself not just a writer to watch, but a writer to treasure’
Darin Strauss, best-selling author of HALF A LIFE
‘I was both disturbed and inspired by Max’s and Ory’s journey through apocalypses large and small. Peng Shepherd has written a prescient, dark fable for the now and for the soon-to-be. THE BOOK OF M is our beautiful nightmare shadow’
Paul Tremblay, author of A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS and THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD