PRAISE FOR THIEVES, BEASTS & MEN
** AMERICAN FICTION AWARD FINALIST FOR BEST NEW FICTION 2021 **
This stunning debut uses the irresistible scenario of a hermit living in near-complete self-sufficiency in the wilderness, and asks the universally relevant question: what is the value of existing within a civilization when it is fraught with evil?
Adelaide has lived a long, solitary existence in the Blue Ridge Mountains. On the verge of ending it all, she discovers two feral children raiding her garden and rescues them in a misguided attempt at a new life. Now she must find a way to care for children who are more beast than human. They only communicate with chirps and grunts, and they pine for their feral mother.
When dangerous men and a wild woman emerge from the darkness in pursuit, Adelaide faces a grueling choice. She can release the children back to the wild, saving her own life but losing everything she has grown to love, or fight to defend her new family, risking the death she no longer seeks.
Thieves, Beasts & Men asks who are the thieves in this story?
Who are the beasts? And what, ultimately, defines humanity?
"Thieves, Beasts & Men is a graceful and brutal debut. It had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. You will fall in love with Adelaide, the deeply flawed heroine. And the wild family just may break your heart. Dark and powerful, yet light and readable. A huge achievement."
- EVIE WYLD, author of The Bass Rock, Everything Is Teeth, and All the Birds, Singing
"I devoured this book in one sitting. I can't remember the last time a novel grabbed me by the throat with such ferocity and refused to let go until the final page. Thieves, Beasts & Men is a heart-pounding, utterly unique page-turner, as immersive as a dream and as indelible as a tattoo."
- ABBY GENI, author of The Last Animal, The Lightkeepers, and The Wildlands
"An old woman alone in the woods, two feral children and their mother, all of them traumatized by a terrifying monster. In one sense, Thieves, Beasts & Men tells a horror story as old as time. But in Leah's competent hands this darkly exhilarating fantasy becomes a new story, one of loneliness and anguish that lingers, of monsters who never go away but loom and threaten forever. She gives us a deep character study of the monsters that also dwell within ourselves, maiming us and causing us to injure or ostracize all others we encounter, even as we look to them for the possibility of second chances."
- KATHERINE FORBES RILEY, author of The Bobcat
"A temporal fairytale whose lyricism is paired with compelling storytelling. The writing is as urgent, deliciously dark, and as extraordinary as its wild setting and willful heroine. You will do best to savor this triumphant debut."
- ALENA DILLON, author of Mercy House and The Happiest Girl in the World
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shan Leah is an award-winning fine artist, freelance photographer, and lover/writer of dark literary fiction. Surrounded by an endless supply of pens, papers, paints, and clay, Shan grew up in the Florida Keys and was taught proper wheel-throwing techniques before mastering her shoelaces. She currently lives in Dunedin, Fl, with her brilliant son and small herd of cats. She finds beauty dreadfully boring. Thieves, Beasts & Men is Shan’s debut novel.