• The Seventh Mansion

  • A Novel
  • By: Maryse Meijer
  • Narrated by: Sophie Amoss
  • Length: 6 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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The Seventh Mansion

By: Maryse Meijer
Narrated by: Sophie Amoss
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Publisher's Summary

One of The Millions's Most Anticipated Books of the Second-Half of 2020, one of Library Journal's 35 Standout Summer/Fall 2020 Debut Novels, and one of Shondaland's 11 New Books That Will Change How You Think About the Climate Crisis

From the author of the story collections Heartbreaker and Rag comes a powerful and propulsive debut novel that examines activism, love, and purpose

When fifteen-year-old Xie moves from California to a rural Southern town to live with his father he makes just two friends, Jo and Leni, both budding environmental and animal activists. One night, the three friends decide to free captive mink from a local farm. But when Xie is the only one caught his small world gets smaller: Kicked out of high school, he becomes increasingly connected with nature, spending his time in the birch woods behind his house, attending extremist activist meetings, and serving as a custodian for what others ignore, abuse, and discard. 

Exploring the woods alone one night, Xie discovers the relic of a Catholic saint - the martyred Pancratius - in a nearby church. Regal and dressed in ornate armor, the skeleton captivates him. After weeks of visits, Xie steals the skeleton, hides it in his attic bedroom, and develops a complex and passionate relationship with the bones and spirit of the saint, whom he calls P. As Xie’s relationship deepens with P., so too does his relationship with the woods - private property that will soon be overrun with loggers. As Xie enacts a plan to save his beloved woods, he must also find a way to balance his conflicting - and increasingly extreme - ideals of purity, sacrifice, and responsibility in order to live in this world. 

Maryse Meijer's The Seventh Mansion is a deeply moving and profoundly original debut novel - both an urgent literary call to arms and an unforgettable coming-of-age story about finding love and selfhood in the face of mass extinction and environmental destruction. 

©2020 Maryse Meijer (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved

Critic Reviews

"[A] strange, inventive first novel...Meijer spins a contemporary fable of lust, devotion, and transgression that will challenge readers to examine all the ways they move through the world. A sensitive, nuanced meditation on radical politics, queerness, and the responsibility of care." (Kirkus)

"Reading The Seventh Mansion feels like receiving a divine transmission from a burning bush - I was beguiled by Maryse Meijer's brave and darting sentences and challenged by the questions raised. Can a life be led without doing harm? Or should we forcefully dismantle the machines that act violently on our behalf?" (Catherine Lacey, author of Pew

"Meijer’s sharp, enjoyable debut novel is a bildungsroman that develops the themes of loneliness, sexuality, nature, and violence...This affecting investigation of ethics in a natural world struggling for survival will appeal to readers of character-driven eco-fiction." (Publishers Weekly

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