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‘Stunning, moving, and remarkable’ Nguyen Phan Que Mai, internationally bestselling author of The Mountains Sing and Dust Child

‘A celebration of complicity and love among women’ Pilar Quintana, shortlisted for the National Book Award, author of The Bitch and Abyss

‘I haven’t been this swept away by a piece of historical fiction since Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet’ Jess Walter, bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins

Paris, 1720. The Hospice of La Salpêtrière is overrun with ‘difficult’ women.

Halfway around the world, on the American frontier, French settlers are in want of wives. At the asylum, a list is drawn up: eighty-eight women of childbearing age to be shipped to New Orleans. Among them are Charlotte, Geneviève and Pétronille – a sharp-tongued orphan, an accused abortionist and a rumoured madwoman.

They make the voyage over the ocean, knowing nothing of the harsh and extraordinary lives that await them, or how they will come to love and betray each other time and again in this wild and beautiful land.

Bold, thrilling and startling intimate, PELICAN GIRLS is a powerful vision of female friendship, identity and desire, and the choices women make in their unshakeable will to survive. For readers of Barbara Kingsolver, Lauren Groff and The Book of Goose by Yiyun Li.

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Stunning, moving, and remarkable. Pelican Girls is more than a novel, it's an act of advocacy for human rights and for historical acknowledgment. Julia Malye has found a rich and compelling voice, unique to those who are experts in navigating between languages and cultures
Nguyen Phan Que Mai
A richly layered multi-character narrative of a long-overlooked period in history... Haunting, heartbreaking, and harrowing, Malye's story is one of survival and perseverance; it is a look into the lives of women who've had everything taken from them, but still manage to go on
Virginia Reeves