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“I like books with teeth and sharp edges. This is a sharp book, made even sharper by its moments of sweetness. It is a bold, original, fascinating reworking of more familiar folklore and stories. This will be one to talk about for a long time.”
— Ari Ray Agnew, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA
2024 Sydney Taylor Book Award Young Adult Honor
"Haunting, exhilarating, and a howl of vengeance." --Andrew Joseph White, New York Times bestselling author of Hell Followed With Us
Frankenstein meets Inglourious Basterds in this stunning Jewish historical horror novel from the award-winning author of The City Beautiful
Vera was made for vengeance.
Lithuania, 1943. A father drowns in the all-consuming grief of a daughter killed by the Nazis. He can't bring Chaya back from the dead, but he can use kishuf -- an ancient and profane magic -- to create a golem in her image. A Nazi killer, to avenge her death.
When Vera awakens, she can feel her violent purpose thrumming within her. But she can also feel glimpses of a human life lived, of stolen kisses amidst the tragedy, and of a grisly death. And when she meets Akiva, she recognizes the boy with soft lips that gave warm kisses. But these memories aren't hers, and Vera doesn't know if she gets--or deserves--to have a life beyond what she was made for.
Vera's strength feels limitless--until she learns that there are others who would channel kishuf for means far less noble than avenging a daughter's death. As she confronts the very basest of humanity, Vera will need more than what her creator gave her: Not just a reason to fight, but a reason to live.