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Rachel Urquhart is a former writer at Spy, Vogue, and Allure magazines. Her non-fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, Tin House, Elle, GQ, Harper's Bazaar, Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure, and Vanity Fair. She received her MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons.
'It was years before a Visionist came to the City of Hope. How could I have fathomed that her presence in our small, remote sanctuary - as unforeseen to her as to anyone - would change everything?' Massachusetts, 1842. Fifteen-year-old Polly Kimball sets fire to her family farm, killing her abusive father. With his fiery ghost at her heels, Polly and her young brother seek refuge in a local Shaker community - the City of Hope. Polly has much to hide from this mysterious society of believers, with the local fire inspector on her trail and the ever-present daemons from her past. But when they hail her a 'Visionist', the first their community has known, she is subject to overwhelming scrutiny. Despite being fiercely protected by a young Shaker sister named Charity, a girl who has never known the outside world yet will stake her very soul on Polly's purity, Polly finds herself in danger from forces both sides of the City's walls. And in a world where faith and fear coexist, safety has a price...Rachel Urquhart conjures a cast of extraordinary characters and brings to life one of history's most fabled and mysterious religious movements.