In this riveting, heartfelt debut, a young woman assumes a new name to escape her dark past and find the redemption she desperately seeks.
“It’s impossible not to root for this strong, willful girl as she finds her place in the world and for her brother as he tries to make sense of it.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Charming, touching, and a host of other adjectives not often associated with a murderous thirteen-year-old.”—Booklist
Venus Black is a straitlaced A student fascinated by the study of astronomy—until the night she commits a shocking crime that tears her family apart and ignites a media firestorm. Venus refuses to talk about what happened or why, except to blame her mother. Adding to the mystery, Venus’s developmentally challenged younger brother, Leo, goes missing.
More than five years later, Venus is released from prison with a suitcase of used clothes, a fake identity, and a determination to escape her painful past. Estranged from her mother, and with her beloved brother still missing, she sets out to make a fresh start in Seattle, skittish and alone. But as new people enter her orbit—including a romantic interest and a young girl who seems like a mirror image of her former lost self—old wounds resurface, and Venus realizes that she can’t find a future while she’s running from her past.
In this gripping story, debut novelist Heather Lloyd brilliantly captures ordinary lives thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Told through a constellation of captivating voices, My Name Is Venus Black explores the fluidity of right and wrong, the pain of betrayal, and the meaning of love and family.
Praise for My Name Is Venus Black
“Fans of realistic coming-of-age fiction will enjoy Lloyd’s fast-paced first novel for the freshly drawn original characters, compelling story line, and beautiful tribute to the healing power of love. It’s bound to have crossover appeal to older YA readers.”—Library Journal
“A dark but ultimately uplifting story about family, love, and forgiveness, and how to find your place in the world, My Name Is Venus Black is a powerful debut novel from a fresh voice in fiction.”—New York Times bestselling author Sarah Jio