What happens when children are denied love and then left to their own devices? Follow Me into the Dark traces the unraveling of a family marred by perverse intergenerational abuse. Kate is a young baker whose mother is dying of cancer. Gillian is an oversexed, hyper-intellectual who looks like Kate and is sleeping with Kate’s stepfather. Jonah is Gillian’s odd but devoted stepbrother, who increasingly matches the description of the “Doll Collector,” a menacing serial killer. With Kate flailing in her mourning and beating back unwelcome memories, snippets of her family legacy are revealed just as the Doll Collector’s body count grows.
A complex, dark expression of the deprived heart and the desperate lengths children will go to in order to create family.
“The raw terror of Sullivan’s novel lies in her depiction of family, of motherhood, not as safe haven but as private, internal danger. The horror comes from within, from inside the house, from inside the family, from inside the mind.”—Los Angeles Review of Books
“A searing portrayal of a woman’s complicated grief. . . . An original, spellbinding, and horrifying read.” —Kirkus (starred review)
“Sullivan’s haunting novel should have a strong appeal for fans of dark, psychological suspense.” —Booklist
“Follow Me into the Dark is a dark, dense, and rewarding debut novel.” —Largehearted Boy
“Haunting prose and intelligent twists haunt and thrill, while her lyrical prose simultaneously adds an elegance and beauty to every scene and character. Sullivan does not apologize for the derangement of the characters, because this is a reality that could be happening right next door. It makes for both a seductive and demented novel of pure genius. It is a jolting and invigorating ride.” —Bellingham Review
“The book is exceptionally dark and filled with abuse. It’s bleak and depressing but powerful.” —Books of Blood
“Within the first words you’ll find yourself pulled into something rich, luminous, and unsparing. I’m reminded of contemporaries like Merritt Tierce and Ottessa Moshfegh, but Felicia Sullivan achieves both an emotional intensity and pacing that is simultaneously seductive and blistering. Follow Me into the Dark is both an invitation and a dare. Accept both. You’ll be glad you did.” —Joe McGinniss Jr., author of Carousel Court
“A haunting and wholly engrossing story of uncommon moral complexity, with prose bright and swift as lightning.” —Laura van den Berg, author of Find Me
“Precise and powerful, Felicia Sullivan’s gorgeous novel takes you on a journey through the darkest sides of human nature, with arresting images and unforgettable characters that don’t let go.” —Liza Monroy, author of Seeing As Your Shoes Are Soon To Be On Fire
“A gripping exploration of pain, anger and revenge. It will stay with you long past the last page.” —Kelly Braffet, author of Save Yourself
Days before Felicia Sullivan graduated from college, her mother disappeared; she hasn’t been heard from in more than twelve years. It was possibly the last betrayal her mother, a beautiful, volatile, deceitful drug addict, would add to those that built their relationship, which subjected Felicia to a nightmare childhood on the toughest streets of 1980s Brooklyn. Growing up in the close company of dealers, users, and a host of unsavory characters, Felicia became her mother’s keeper at a shockingly young age—getting her to the hospital after her overdoses, enduring her cruelty and narcissistic rages, and accepting the abuse or indifference of numerous so-called stepfathers. Years later, damaged and ashamed of her past, Felicia invented a new, brutally hard-partying persona to show to the world: she became her mother.
Affecting, honest, and utterly extraordinary, The Sky Isn’t Visible from Here is a book about secrets and forgiveness—the story of a young woman unraveling . . . and then putting her life back together again.
“A poignant memoir.” —Publishers Weekly
“Sullivan appears to defy odds, moving past childhood poverty and her addict mother’s abuse to gain an education and career…It’s amazing to read how she transformed herself into a carbon copy of her college classmates, seeming to escape her traumatic rearing so completely”—Elle
“Sullivan’s bracing, pared-to-the-bone prose evokes compassion by being impressively free of the narcissistic self-worship that so often infects books of this stripe.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A young woman from Brooklyn “looks at her rocky childhood growing up with a beautiful, drug-addicted mom” in this remarkable memoir.” —Vanity Fair
“A poignant memoir by writer Sullivan palpates the wounds of growing up with an unstable, cocaine-abusing mother.” —Library Journal.
“Felicia Sullivan’s mother disappeared on the night Felicia graduated from college. The daughter would go on to an Ivy League education and numerous accomplishments—but eventually, just like her missing parent, she would succumb to alcohol and cocaine abuse. In this “brave and lovely” account, Felicia looks at the ways she was shaped by the shame of her past, and how she finally overcame it.” —Roxana Robinson
“Looking back on the tough streets of Brooklyn in the 1980s, where she lived among drug dealers, users, and substitute fathers who tended to be indifferent at best and abusive at worst, Felicia reveals how she became her mother’s keeper, taking her to the hospital when she overdosed, withstanding her narcissistic rages, and always wondering why her mother would never reveal the truth about the father she’d never met. The Sky Isn’t Visible from Here is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, and an “extraordinary memoir [that] will keep you awake at night and haunt your dreams.” —Dani Shapiro, author of Family History