Mirror Girls (Hardcover)
Williams' page-turning historical fiction with a dollop of magic set mainly in circa- 1953 Georgia will give you a true view of life from both a (passing) white & black perspective, as the story is about twins separated at birth. One can easily feel the horror of Jim Crow south and the shameful racial injustices blacks endured. Both twin characters are equally well developed and your heart will long for redemption.
(YA Historical Fiction, ages 14+)
— From Staff Picks by Maureen
A thrilling gothic horror novel about biracial twin sisters separated at birth, perfect for fans of Lovecraft Country and The Vanishing Half
As infants, twin sisters Charlie Yates and Magnolia Heathwood were secretly separated after the brutal lynching of their parents, who died for loving across the color line. Now, at the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, Charlie is a young Black organizer in Harlem, while white-passing Magnolia is the heiress to a cotton plantation in rural Georgia.
Magnolia knows nothing of her racial heritage, but secrets are hard to keep in a town haunted by the ghosts of its slave-holding past. When Magnolia finally learns the truth, her reflection mysteriously disappears from mirrors—the sign of a terrible curse. Meanwhile, in Harlem, Charlie's beloved grandmother falls ill. Her final wish is to be buried back home in Georgia—and, unbeknownst to Charlie, to see her long-lost granddaughter, Magnolia Heathwood, one last time. So Charlie travels into the Deep South, confronting the land of her worst nightmares—and Jim Crow segregation.
The sisters reunite as teenagers in the deeply haunted town of Eureka, Georgia, where ghosts linger centuries after their time and dangers lurk behind every mirror. They couldn’t be more different, but they will need each other to put the hauntings of the past to rest, to break the mirrors’ deadly curse—and to discover the meaning of sisterhood in a racially divided land.
Kelly is a mixed-race writer. Agnes at the End of the World was a finalist for the Golden Kite Award, and Mirror Girls is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection and Target Book Club Pick. She’s written for Time, Bustle, and Publisher's Weekly among other outlets. She lives in Seattle with her family.
A Cosmopolitan Magazine Best Book of 2022
A NYPL Best Book of the Year
A 2023 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers—--
"a moving story about sisterhood and perseverance in the face of a society that tells Black girls they are worthless."—Booklist
"Steeped in atmosphere, equal parts ghost and sororal love story, McWilliams has written a pitch-perfect southern gothic thriller about race, family, and what it means to call a place home."—Christina Hammonds Reed, award-winning author of The Black Kids
“MIRROR GIRLS is a spine-tingling, empowering look at justice and civil action that urges readers to be aware, to be true to themselves and to take action. As Magnolia observes, ‘As twin sisters, white and Black, we are a symbol of coming victory. A promise of change.’”—BookPage, starred review
"[A] spooky Southern gothic ghost story. "—BCCB
" A historical and paranormal thriller about biracial twin sisters who were separated as infants in 1936, with one sister raised white in Georgia, the other raised Black in New York."—New York Times
"McWilliams uses American history and gothic elements to create a thrilling story filled with complex characters and significant social themes, including colorism and race relations. Readers who enjoy historical fantasy narratives, such as Corthron’s Daughters of Jubilation (rev. 1/21), will appreciate this captivating story of resilience, hope, and love."—The Horn Book
"...a tender display of sisterhood and bravery amid historical truths."—Publishers Weekly
"A rich, foreboding historical horror tale that refuses to flinch in the face of hate crimes, discrimination, and the violence of white supremacy."—School Library Journal, starred review
*“An immersive, supernatural take on the nuanced construction of Black identity that delivers hope and catharsis.” —Kirkus, starred review