The Unsettled

A Novel

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Pub Date 26 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 23 Oct 2023
HarperCollins Canada, HarperCollins Publishers

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Description

From the bestselling author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, a searing multigenerational novel—set in the 1980s in racially and politically turbulent Philadelphia and the tiny town of Bonaparte, Alabama—about a mother fighting for her sanity and survival

From the moment Ava Carson and her ten-year-old son, Toussaint, arrive at the Glenn Avenue Family Shelter in Philadelphia in 1985, Ava is already plotting a way out. She is repulsed by the shelter’s squalid conditions: their cockroach-infested room, the barely edible food and the shifty night security guard. She is determined to rescue her son from the perils and indignities of the place, and to save herself from the complicated past that led them there. Ava has been estranged from her own mother, Dutchess, since she left her Alabama home as a young woman barely out of her teens. Despite their estrangement and the thousand miles between them, mother and daughter are deeply entwined, but Ava can’t forgive her sharp-tongued, larger-than-life mother, whose intractability and bouts of debilitating despair brought young Ava to the outer reaches of neglect and hunger. Ava wants to love her son differently, better. But when Toussaint’s father, Cass, reappears, she is swept off course by his charisma and the intoxicating power of his radical vision to destroy systems of racial injustice and bring about a bold new way of communal living. 

Meanwhile, in Alabama, Dutchess struggles to keep Bonaparte, once a beacon of Black freedom and self-determination, in the hands of its last five Black residents—families whose lives have been rooted in this stretch of land for generations—and away from rapidly encroaching white developers. She fights against the erasure of Bonaparte’s venerable history and the loss of the land itself, which she has so arduously preserved as Ava’s inheritance.

As Ava becomes more enmeshed with Cass, Toussaint senses the danger simmering all around him—his well-intentioned but erratic mother and the intense, volatile figure of his father, who drives his fledgling Philadelphia community toward ever increasing violence and instability. He begins to dream of Dutchess and Bonaparte, his home and birthright, if only he can find his way there. 

Brilliant, explosive, vitally important new work from one of America’s most fiercely talented storytellers.


From the bestselling author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, a searing multigenerational novel—set in the 1980s in racially and politically turbulent Philadelphia and the tiny town of Bonaparte...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781443454322
PRICE CA$25.99 (CAD)
PAGES 352

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