Dimensions:8.5in x 5.75 x 0.95 in | 0.85 lb
Page Count:256 pages
UNFORGETTABLE MOTHER-DAUGHTER RELATIONSHIP, HIGH EXPECTATIONS AND DARK FAMILY SECRETS: In May and Lily, King has created a terrifying yet extremely relatable mother-daughter relationship, accurately capturing how children can often be gaslit by abusive parents well into adulthood. She skillfully reveals the particular pressures of being a biracial first-generation immigrant daughter, as May criticizes Lily for looking too “white” and expects her to be the perfect doting Asian daughter at all times.
CENTERS BIRACIAL DIASPORIC CHARACTERS: Fans of Amy Tan and Celeste Ng who are looking for stories that center diasporic characters, the challenges of being multicultural and biracial, and the painful complexity of sustaining difficult family relationships will see themselves in Lily’s journey.
ACCURATE ABOUT GENERATIONAL TRAUMA AND SELECTIVE AMNESIA: King is also a corporate lawyer who has volunteered for a human trafficking and domestic violence shelter. So all the stories and psychological trauma she describes in the book are based on anecdotes and diagnoses she learned about in her volunteer work.
GRIPPING LITERARY THRILLER: The novel is founded on sophisticated and nuanced reflections on race, trauma, and memory, but it’s also a fast-paced, riveting narrative that will keep readers hooked from one revelation to the next, with a mind-blowing plot twist at the end.
Named one of "The Most Anticipated Crime Books of 2022" by CrimeReads
A "Top Spring/Summer Debut" —Library Journal
"In her debut novel, King brilliantly portrays generational abuse and trauma passed down from parent to child and a resulting, conscious fight to break free from the toxic cycle. She writes with mastery as she explores the disturbing effects of childhood trauma within a biracial family. Thrilling and suspenseful, King’s exemplary novel will keep readers fascinated until the end."
—Booklist (starred review)
"King delves into toxic family ties and intergenerational trauma in her hypnotic debut ... [A] perfect blend of psychological thriller and coming-of-age. This author is off to a great start."
"Debut author King skillfully brings to light the layered, deeply complex machinations that lurk below the surface in families and confer the fragile impression of normalcy; this family’s crosshairs of obligation, love, and resentment, too, are never oversimplified. May is especially captivating: a veritable tyrant who’s also full of sympathetic, deeply human insecurities. [...] Layered, variable, and, like spoiled orange juice, sometimes complicatedly bitter."
"Disturbing, poignant and memorable all at once- an exploration of a very dark relationship between a daughter and her mother."
—Observer New Review (UK)
"This unforgettable debut follows 17-year-old Lily and her complex relationship with her troubled mother. A riveting novel exploring how family ties can both make us and break us."
"At once an addictive thriller with a mystery at its heart and an erudite reflection on the challenges unique to a multiracial family, this is an ambitious debut from a writer to watch."
—Frances Hedges, Harper's Bazaar (UK)
"A disturbing mother and daughter relationship; a family overflowing with secrets. Bad Fruit is dark, compelling and beautifully written"
—Louise Hare, author of Miss Aldridge Regrets
"Tense, intense and intriguing. Ella King is a genuinely exciting new voice."
—Kate Hamer, author of The Girl in the Red Coat
"Compelling and wicked, Bad Fruit is a novel about the darkest of family secrets and the lies we tell ourselves in order to live with them. This is an intimate, compulsive thriller best read on a hot summer night."
—Jing-Jing Lee, author of How We Disappeared
"Bad Fruit occupies that liminal space between psychological thriller and horror, beautifully written and incredibly disturbing. In this lushly poisonous tale, we follow a teenage girl on the cusp of freedom from her tyrannical mother. Things take a turn towards the supernatural when she gains access to intergenerational memories and begins to finally understand her family’s strange behavior. Perfect for those who enjoyed Natsuo Kirino’s underrated mishmash of thriller and body horror, Grotesque."
—Molly Odintz, CrimeReads
“Mesmerizing, dream-like and darkly suspenseful, Bad Fruit captures the damaging love and loyalty that children can bear towards abusive parents who are suffering from and passing on their complex trauma.”
—Frances Cha, author of If I Had Your Face
"Bad Fruit is brilliant, taut and explosive. Ella King deftly explores the toxicity of generational trauma while being unafraid to confront the racial tensions that can simmer below the surface. A bold new voice."
—Helena Lee, editor of East Side Voices: Essays Celebrating East & Southeast Asian Identity in Britain
"Ella King opens up the fraught space between mother and daughter to reveal both the unbearable weight of inherited traumas as well as the uncontainable desire of a heart reaching for life. Bad Fruit cuts away the skin of a family as if a daughter could be a knife slicing through lies, pain, and fear. The heart hidden beneath all the secrets is sweet. The heart hidden beneath the secrets is hers. Breathtaking."
—Lidia Yuknavitch, author of Thrust and The Chronology of Water
"Beautiful, disturbing, impossible to put down. Bad Fruit heralds a seriously impressive new talent in Ella King."
—Chris Whitaker, bestselling author of We Begin At The End
"A compelling debut that fizzes with tension from start to finish, blending the subtle erudition of literary fiction with the drama and suspense of the very best thrillers. Masterful in its evocation of the complexity of mother-daughter relationships, this is a darkly fascinating, tightly plotted narrative from a writer to watch."
—Harper’s Bazaar (UK)
"Bad Fruit is at once a beautiful and harrowing novel which explores family dynamics, and tracks a journey of self-discovery. I am blown away by Ella's talent for writing not only wonderful prose but complex and intriguing characters."
—L.V. Matthews, author of The Prank
"Bad Fruit is a beautiful collision of mothers and daughters, human darkness and human kindness, truth and lies, remembering and forgetting, trauma and healing."
—Sarah May, author of Becky