New York Times bestselling author Alice LaPlante, a mesmerizing novel about faith, grief, and obsession as a complicated, passionate young woman falls in with a doomsday cult.
Alice LaPlante’s acclaimed psychological thrillers are distinguished by their stunning synthesis of family drama and engrossing suspense. Her new novel, Coming of Age at the End of Days, is an incisive foray deeper into the creases of family life—and the light-and-dark battle of faith—as LaPlante delves into the barbed psyche of a teenager whose misguided convictions bear irrevocable consequences.
Never one to conform, Anna always had trouble fitting in. Earnest and willful, as a young girl she quickly learned how to hide her quirks from her parents and friends. But when, at sixteen, a sudden melancholia takes hold of her life, she loses her sense of self and purpose. Then the Goldschmidts move in next door. They’re active members of a religious cult, and Anna is awestruck by both their son, Lars, and their fervent violent prophecies for the Tribulation at the End of Days. Within months, everything in Anna’s life—her family, her home, her very identity—will undergo profound changes. But when her newfound beliefs threaten to push her over the edge, she must find the strength to come back to center with the help of unlikely friends: Jim, a childhood crush wading through a quarter-life crisis in his parents’ basement, and Clara, her compassionate chemistry teacher desperate for adventure.
An intimate story of destruction and renewal, LaPlante delivers a haunting exploration of family legacies, devotion, and tangled relationships. She once again brilliantly parses an altered mind on the brink and considers the often perilous, always challenging journey to become the people we want to be at the end of our days.
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Alice LaPlante is an award-winning and best-selling author of numerous books, including
A Circle of Wives and the New York Times bestseller Turn of Mind, which was the winner of the Wellcome Trust’s Book Prize and a B&N Discover Award finalist. She teaches creative writing at Stanford University and in the MFA program at San Francisco State University.