Orpheus Girl

November 30, 2020
Orpheus Girl

In her debut novel, award-winning poet BrynneRebele-Henry re-imagines the Orpheus myth as a love story betweentwo teenage girls who are sent to conversion therapy after beingcaught together in an intimate moment.Abandoned by a single mother she never knew, 16-year-oldRaya—obsessed with ancient myths—lives with her grandmother in asmall conservative Texas town. For years Raya has fought to hideher feelings for her best friend and true love, Sarah. When the twoare outed, they are sent to Friendly Saviors: a re-education campmeant to "fix" them and make them heterosexual. Upon arrival, Rayavows to assume the role of Orpheus, to return to the world of theliving with her love—and after she, Sarah, and the other teenresidents are subjected to abusive and brutal "treatments" by thestaff, Raya only becomes more determined to escape.In a haunting voice reminiscent of Sylvia Plath and thecontemporary lyricism of David Levithan, Brynne Rebele-Henry weavesa powerful inversion of the Orpheus myth informed by the disturbingreal-world truths of conversion therapy. Orpheus Girl is astory of dysfunctional families, trauma, first love, heartbreak,and ultimately, the fierce adolescent resilience that has the powerto triumph over darkness and ignorance.CW: There are scenes in this book that depictself-harm, homophobia, transphobia, and violence against LGBTQcharacters.