Rainbow Black: A Novel
“I've loved Maggie Thrash's work for years, and Rainbow Black is going to set so many new hearts aflame—murder, intrigue, queer love, dark humor AND satanic panic? Welcome to the Maggie Thrash Fan Club, world!”—Emma Straub, New York Times bestselling author of This Time Tomorrow
For readers of Donna Tartt and Ottessa Moshfegh comes a brilliant, deliriously entertaining novel from the acclaimed author of Honor Girl. Rainbow Black is part murder mystery, part gay international fugitive love story—set against the ’90s Satanic Panic and spanning 20 years in the life of a young woman pulled into its undertow.
Lacey Bond is a 13-year-old girl in New Hampshire growing up in the tranquility of her hippie parents’ rural daycare center.
Then the Satanic Panic hits. It’s the summer of 1990 when Lacey ’s parents are handcuffed, flung into the county jail, and faced with a torrent of jaw-dropping accusations as part of a mass hysteria sweeping the nation. When a horrific murder brings Lacey to the breaking point, she makes a ruthless choice that will haunt her for decades.
As an adult, Lacey mimes a normal life as the law clerk of an illustrious judge. She has a beautiful girlfriend, a measure of security, and the world has mostly forgotten about her. But after a tiny misstep spirals into an uncontrolled legal disaster, the hysteria threatens to begin all over again.
Rainbow Black is an addictive, searing, high-octane triumph, an imaginative tour de force about one woman’s tireless desire to be free.
Praise for Rainbow Black: A Novel
"I've loved Maggie Thrash's work for years, and Rainbow Black is going to set so many new hearts aflame—murder, intrigue, queer love, dark humor AND satanic panic? Welcome to the Maggie Thrash Fan Club, world!" — Emma Straub, New York Times bestselling author of This Time Tomorrow
"Rainbow Black is exactly what a novel ought to be—funny and harrowing, weird, wise and incredibly deft. I was not expecting to be as moved as I was, or to spend hours after finishing thinking about what I'd read. Come for the Satanic Panic, stay for the wine fraud." — Julia Armfield, author of Our Wives Under the Sea
"Thrash does a terrific job of making every character both singular and nuanced . . . . Thrash turns trauma, injustice, and hideous bad fortune into a story about resilience, reinvention, and love." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A gripping story . . . . Readers will be stirred" — Publishers Weekly
“In this stunning and intense adult debut from YA author Thrash, Lacey is a nuanced character whose complex inner life as both a teen and a woman injects urgency into every hurdle she faces. At once a rivetingly dramatic procedural and an intimate portrait of a relationship forged in trauma, Rainbow Black boldly confronts the lingering shadows of guilt, betrayal, and secrecy.” — Booklist
"Rainbow Black seamlessly balances complex themes while remaining ridiculously entertaining. Maggie Thrash is a strong literary voice and an immense talent." — Ione Gamble, author of Poor Little Sick Girls and founding editor in chief of Polyester zine