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Elizabeth Fama’s original and chilling tale, Monstrous Beauty (Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers / 978-0-374-37366-5 / September 4, 2012), is an intricately crafted thriller featuring monstrous mermaids, ghosts, and a century-old curse. Shifting between past and present in the small fishing town of Plymouth, Massachusetts, the book follows the story of Hester, a historical role-player in Plimoth Plantation’s English Village.
On Friday, September 7, Monstrous Beauty will make its first splash at a book tour launch at Plimoth Plantation. The event will take place from 5:30-8:00 p.m. in the Courtyard of the Museum. The evening will include a reception and a reading by the author, who will also share some special insights into the story. This event is free and open to the public.
When fierce mermaid Syrenka falls in love with a human named Ezra, she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land. The choice comes with horrific and deadly consequences. Generations later, seventeen-year-old Hester knows that love and death are inextricably linked for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect, or a curse? Hester’s solution is to avoid love altogether, until she meets an enigmatic stranger named Ezra and feels drawn to him in a way she can’t explain or resist. Ezra may be able to help her tease apart the strands of her family’s strange history; Ezra knows a thing or two about curses. The answers Hester seeks are waiting in the graveyard, in the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and the tragedy of so long ago. Monstrous Beauty is a dark and brilliantly plotted thriller about sacrifice, enduring love, and hope.
“I'm so excited to be kicking off the Monstrous Beauty book tour at Plimoth Plantation,” says Fama. “The town of Plymouth is the only place in the world that had all the pieces I needed to craft a complex young-adult historical fantasy: an old church and burial ground that are walking distance from a gorgeous bay; a rich local history; and a lively 17th-century living history museum site. I look forward to this September 7 launch event and the opportunity to talk about ghosts, Pilgrims, curses, and killer mermaids!”
“Plimoth Plantation is a place that continually fuels the imagination, and so we are delighted to help kick off the arrival of this new novel that is steeped in such local history and intrigue,” said Rob Kluin, the museum’s Director of Marketing and Communications.
Praise for Monstrous Beauty:
“horror and humanity are adroitly handled…” –Publishers Weekly
“…this stylish fantasy mesmerizes.” –Kirkus
About the Author
Elizabeth Fama is the author of Overboard, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. She is obsessively drawn to graveyards and water, both of which are featured in Monstrous Beauty. She lives with, and cannot live without, her boisterous and creative family in Chicago, Illinois. Visit her at elizabethfama.com.
About Plimoth Plantation
Plimoth Plantation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization and a 17th-century living museum dedicated to telling the history of Plimoth Colony from the perspective of both the Colonial English Pilgrims and the Native Wampanoag people. Plimoth Plantation is a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate and receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, The Federal Institute of Museums and Library Services, The Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, private foundations, corporations, and local businesses. For more information visit the new: www.plimoth.org