The acclaimed author of We Can Only Save Ourselves returns with an urgent and unsettling story that journeys into the heart of religious fanaticism and cult behavior as it probes one woman’s struggle to define life on her own terms.
“Here comes trouble,” Rosemary’s high school English teacher used to say whenever he saw her. Rosemary has often felt like trouble, and now at thirty-two, her marriage to her college sweetheart, Paul, is crumbling. In a last-ditch attempt to restore it, she agrees to give herself over to a newly formed Christian sect in central Texas, run by charismatic young pastor Papa Jake.
While Paul acclimates quickly to the small town of Dawson and the church’s insistence on a strict set of puritanical rules, Rosemary struggles to fit in. She finds purpose only when she’s called upon to help Julie, a new mother in the community, who is feeling isolated and lost.
Then the community is rocked by a series of fires which take some church members’ homes and nearly take their lives, but which Papa Jake says are holy and a representation of God’s will.
As the fires spread, and Julie is betrayed in a terrible way, Rosemary begins to question the reality of her life, and wonders if trouble will always find her—or if she’ll ever be able to outrun it.