What is actually going on at Atlas? And is it a good cult, or a bad cult? These are the questions I kept asking myself with mounting anxiety as I read through Rogers’ riveting debut about a raw and vulnerable woman trying to find her way in the loosely cultivated wilds of a monkey sanctuary in Central Florida. As a Florida woman myself, I’m floored by how Rogers’ sharp prose excellently captured the hard and uncomfortable nature of what living in Florida frequently feels like, as well as the delightful oddities and weirdnesses of this place that is also filled with a startling, and sometimes surprising, beauty.
Jamie is grateful to be able to live out her house arrest term at a monkey sanctuary in the Florida wilderness. The women there seem so spiritual and welcoming…but what’s really going on behind closed doors? I couldn’t put this down!
"Razor-sharp... Deb Rogers writes with such verve and honesty about all the ways we stumble through life, and, like all great storytellers, gives us something wondrous when we reach the end of the journey." --Kevin Wilson, bestselling author of Nothing to See Here
An Indie Next Selection - A Fantastic Strangelings Book Club Pick - Recommended by: Harper's Bazaar - Shondaland - New York Post - Goodreads - Lambda Literary - Book Riot - Reader's Digest - LGBTQReads - Medium - Debutiful - She Reads - Autostraddle - and more
A gleefully dark and entertaining debut for fans of Kevin Wilson and Karen Russell, about one young woman's sensational summer at a Floridian wildlife center for exotic monkeys
Jamie is a Florida Woman. She grew up on the beach, thrives in humidity, has weathered more hurricanes than she can count, and now, after going viral for an outrageous crime she never meant to commit in the first place, she has the requisite headline to her name. But when the chance comes for her to escape viral infamy and imminent jail time by taking a community service placement at Atlas, a shelter for rescued monkeys, it seems like just the fresh start Jamie needs to finally get her life back on track -- until it's not.
Something sinister stirs in the palmetto woods surrounding her cabin, and secrets lurk among the three beguiling women who run the shelter and affectionately take Jamie under their wing for the summer. She hears the distant screams of monkeys each night; the staff perform cryptic, lakeside sacrifices to honor Atlas; and the land, which has long been abandoned by citrus farmers and theme park developers alike, now proves to be dangerously, relentlessly untamed.
As Jamie ventures deeper into the offbeat world and rituals of Atlas, her summer is soon set to inspire an even stranger Florida headline than she ever could've imagined.