A Prayer for Travelers by Ruchika Tomar


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A dazzling, suspenseful novel of female friendship and trauma in the American West

Selected as one of the summer’s best reads by Time, the Los Angeles Times, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, The Skimm, The A/V Club, Nylon, Thrillist, and Electric Literature

“A debut novel with everything!”—Cosmopolitan

Cale Lambert, a bookish loner of mysterious parentage, lives in a dusty town near the California-Nevada border, a place where coyotes scavenge for backyard dogs and long-haul truckers scavenge for pills and girls. Cale was raised by her grandfather in a loving, if codependent, household, but as soon as she’s left high school his health begins an agonizing decline. Set adrift for the first time, Cale starts waitressing at the local diner, where she reconnects with Penélope Reyes, a charismatic former classmate running mysterious side-hustles to fund her dreams. Penny exposes Cale to the reality that exists beyond their small town, and the girls become inseparable—until one terrifying act of violence shatters their world. When Penny vanishes without a trace, Cale must set off on a dangerous quest across the desert to find her friend, and discover herself.

An audacious debut, told in deftly interwoven chapters, A Prayer for Travelers explores the complicated legacy of the American West and the trauma of female experience.

A Prayer for Travelers by Ruchika Tomar
Epilogue BCB