Pinterest tracking pixel
If you are having difficulty navigating this website please contact us at accessibility@bookofthemonth.com or 1-833-959-2686.
Oops! The page didn’t load right. Please refresh and try again.
The Perishing by Natashia Deón
Speculative fiction

The Perishing

Early Release
This is an early release that's only available to our members—the rest of the world has to wait 'til next month to read it.

by Natashia Deón

Quick take

Set in a hazy 1930s LA, this genre-bending tale of a pioneering journalist explores shifts in time, identity, and love.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Emotional

    Emotional

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_SocialIssues

    Social issues

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Supernatural

    Supernatural

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_NonLinear

    Nonlinear timeline

Why I love it

Shay Mitchell
Shay Mitchell is an actor and entrepreneur. She has appeared in the hit shows Pretty Little Liars, You , and most recently Dollface.

This book has been blowing me away. The premise—and 1930s LA historic setting—piqued my interest, but Natashia Deón’s writing really brings it home! As someone who does not usually gravitate towards stories with undertones of fantasy, this book does it so tastefully that it’s hard to put it down.

The Perishing begins with a young woman who wakes up partially-clothed in an alley. Her name is Lou and she has almost no memory of how she ended up there, or really any other parts of her past. Lou is haunted by visions of a face that she begins obsessively drawing trying to put the pieces of her life together. Eventually she meets a man in a boxing gym whose face matches the one from her visions, and they quickly realize this is not the first time their paths have crossed. Together they work to uncover the mystery of Lou’s past. While this story unfolds, we also watch Lou become the LA Times’s first female journalist, breaking incredible stories of crime and greed in Prohibition-era California that makes you feel like you are right there with her… well, almost.

This novel defied all of my expectations. The story itself was so enjoyable, but the exploration of the ever shifting meaning of being a black woman in America draws renewed attention to important topics of racial equality that we continue to battle today.

Pick this one up and I promise... you will not be able to put it down!

Read less

Synopsis

Lou, a young Black woman, wakes up in an alley in 1930s Los Angeles, nearly naked and with no memory of how she got there or where she's from, only a fleeting sense that this isn't the first time she's found herself in similar circumstances. Taken in by a caring foster family, Lou dedicates herself to her education while trying to put her mysterious origins behind her. She'll go on to become the first Black female journalist at the Los Angeles Times, but Lou's extraordinary life is about to become even more remarkable. When she befriends a firefighter at a downtown boxing gym, Lou is shocked to realize that though she has no memory of ever meeting him she's been drawing his face since her days in foster care.

Increasingly certain that their paths have previously crossed--perhaps even in a past life--and coupled with unexplainable flashes from different times that have been haunting her dreams, Lou begins to believe she may be an immortal sent to this place and time for a very important reason, one that only others like her will be able to explain. Relying on her journalistic training and with the help of her friends, Lou sets out to investigate the mystery of her existence and make sense of the jumble of lifetimes calling to her from throughout the ages before her time runs out for good.

Set against the rich historical landscape of Depression-era Los Angeles, The Perishing charts a course through a changing city confronting racism, poverty, and the drumbeat of a coming war for one miraculous woman whose fate is inextricably linked to the city she comes to call home.

Read less

Preview

Get an early look from the first pages of The Perishing.

Member thoughts

All (3991)
All (3991)
Love (614)
Like (1825)
Dislike (1552)
4130 ratings
  • 15% Love
  • 44% Like
  • 38% Dislike
  • Coeur dalene, ID

    The real cultural comparisons from Lou’s straightforward perspective put against the immortal fantasy concept kept me hooked. I felt like I was in a world of fiction, but still learning something real

  • Pittsburgh, PA

    This book is weird and wonderful. The writing and narrative structure are creative and interesting. It’s the kind of book you understand viscerally, but when you think too hard it dances out of grasp.

  • Council Bluffs , IA

    I’m caught between loving and liking this book. It was beautifully written but at times confusing. I feel it left out a lot of answers to my questions but at the same time, it was a delight to read.

  • Marne, MI

    The book was amazing storytelling. I am disappointed in other reviewers rating it so poorly - I think they read too much into the synopsis and did not just enjoy the ride and poetic verbiage of the au

  • Grandview , TX

    The time jumps took me a bit to get the hang of at first, but it really was the best way to tell the story. I loved the book and the characters are amazing. So glad I knocked this one off my tbr

  • chicago, IL

    As someone who doesn’t typically read fantasy I really enjoyed this book. Reminded me a bit of “the invisible life of Addie larue” but touching very important humanitarian issues .

  • Astoria, NY

    Synopses don't do this one justice -- there's no way to explain how beautiful every sentence is, how loved each character is by the reader, and how thoughtful this story is.

  • Crowley, TX

    Absolutely incredible book that combined current day issues with the past issues (that are much the same.) descriptions were beautiful to read and thought provoking.

  • Overland Park, KS

    Took me a little bit to become engaged in the book and follow the narrative but once I did, I simply could not put it down. Looking for more by this author!!

  • Minden, LA

    If I could double triple love this book, I would. Amazing storyline that served an amazing purpose. Spoke a message that went straight to the feels.

  • walbridge, OH

    What an interesting concept and book! I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it when I chose it because it's not my usual genre, but I truly enjoyed it!

  • Florence, KY

    What an interesting tale! The introspective chapters in between the ones that carry the plot have some of the wisest words I've read in a while.

  • Van Nuys, CA

    This book is INCREDIBLE. Compelling characters, beautifully written and such a creative story. Wish I could read it for the first time twice.

  • Indian Head Park, IL

    Interesting take on the idea that if we don’t learn from history it is destined to repeat itself. So many insights and thoughtful writing.

  • Washington , DC

    Wonderful book! Fascinating and unique storyline. Complex characters and beautiful writing. Loved reading this and didn’t want it to end.

  • Seattle, WA

    I am so mad at this book for how much it left me wanting more. There is so much more I need to know…but that is the point, isn’t it?

  • Atlanta, GA

    A fantasy novel cleverly grounded in reality. I liked it most because the author and I had many similar viewpoints on living your life.

  • Punta Gorda, FL

    A genre I had never read before. I really enjoyed this novel. The writing was outstanding and will be looking for this author again

  • Indianapolis, IN

    Took awhile to get into it but so many insightful bits throughout. A book that makes you think about the past, present, and future.

  • Baltimore, MD

    I loved piecing together the fragments of Lou’s life and lives. Such a powerful book with a truly beautiful narrator

Speculative fiction
  • The Perishing