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The Incendiaries: A Novel

The Incendiaries: A Novel

Author R. O. Kwon
Publisher Riverhead Books
Publication Date 2018-07-31
Section New Hardcover - Fiction
Type New
Format Hardcover
ISBN 9780735213890

"A dark, absorbing story of how first love can be as intoxicating and dangerous as religious fundamentalism." --New York Times Book Review

"Reminiscent of Donna Tartt's The Secret History, with menace and mystery lurking in every corner." People Magazine

A powerful, darkly glittering novel of violence, love, faith, and loss, as a young woman at an elite American university is drawn into acts of terrorism by a cult tied to North Korea.

Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2018 by the New York TimesEntertainment WeeklyElle, Time, Parade, Vanity FairCosmopolitan, Esquire, PBS, Vulture, Buzzfeed, BookRiot, PopSugar, Refinery29, Bustle, The Millions, The RumpusPaste, BBC


Phoebe Lin and Will Kendall meet their first month at prestigious Edwards University. Phoebe is a glamorous girl who doesn't tell anyone she blames herself for her mother's recent death. Will is a misfit scholarship boy who transfers to Edwards from Bible college, waiting tables to get by. What he knows for sure is that he loves Phoebe. 

Grieving and guilt-ridden, Phoebe is increasingly drawn into a religious group--a secretive extremist cult--founded by a charismatic former student, John Leal. He has an enigmatic past that involves North Korea and Phoebe's Korean American family. Meanwhile, Will struggles to confront the fundamentalism he's tried to escape, and the obsession consuming the one he loves. When the group bombs several buildings in the name of faith, killing five people, Phoebe disappears. Will devotes himself to finding her, tilting into obsession himself, seeking answers to what happened to Phoebe and if she could have been responsible for this violent act.

The Incendiaries is a fractured love story and a brilliant examination of the minds of extremist terrorists, and of what can happen to people who lose what they love most.

"In dazzlingly acrobatic prose, R. O. Kwon explores the lines between faith and fanaticism, passion and violence, the rational and the unknowable." --Celeste Ng, New York Times bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere

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