Peaces: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

In Helen Oyeyemi's new novel, we join newly not married-but-committed couple Otto and Xavier Shin on their non-honeymoon honeymoon as they take a peculiar journey on a train that is anything but a train. The Lucky Day is an old tea smuggling train that now features a greenhouse, a picture gallery, and a bazaar amongst other strange additions, but Oyeyemi has written it so well that it feels like another character in the story. Throw into the mix the crew of the train and not one but two mongooses and what you have is one of the most colorful, vivid, and imaginative books of the year.


But below the layers of mystery and and fun is a deeper story of love, of relationships past and present, and of knowing and being known by those around us. Of having all our faults and peculiarities seen and understood, and being loved in spite of them. In 'Peaces' Oyeymi beautifully captures the lives of her characters as the past and present collide and strangers become friends, and as a reader, you will be pulled right in, until you too feel that you are a passenger on The Lucky Day, along for the ride.

— Hannah Reidell


The prize-winning, bestselling author of Gingerbread; Boy, Snow, Bird; and What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours returns with a vivid and inventive new novel about a couple forever changed by an unusual train voyage.

When Otto and Xavier Shin declare their love, an aunt gifts them a trip on a sleeper train to mark their new commitment—and to get them out of her house. Setting off with their pet mongoose, Otto and Xavier arrive at their sleepy local train station, but quickly deduce that The Lucky Day is no ordinary locomotive. Their trip on this former tea-smuggling train has been curated beyond their wildest imaginations, complete with mysterious and welcoming touches, like ingredients for their favorite breakfast. They seem to be the only people onboard, until Otto discovers a secretive woman who issues a surprising message. As further clues and questions pile up, and the trip upends everything they thought they knew, Otto and Xavier begin to see connections to their own pasts, connections that now bind them together.

A spellbinding tale from a star author, Peaces is about what it means to be seen by another person—whether it’s your lover or a stranger on a train—and what happens when things you thought were firmly in the past turn out to be right beside you.

About the Author

Helen Oyeyemi is the author of the story collection What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, winner of the PEN Open Book Award, along with six novels, including Gingerbread and Boy, Snow, Bird, which was a finalist for the 2014 Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Praise For…

Praise for Peaces

Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by The Boston Globe, Marie Claire, Medium, The Millions, Lithub, and O, The Oprah Magazine

“Curious characters, strange events, and mysteries abound in Oyeyemi’s delightfully bonkers latest…this exciting and inventive novel brims with unusual insights.” Publishers Weekly
“Oyeyemi has once again crafted a layered modern-day fairy tale replete with interlinked stories and unexpected connections among its vibrant characters.”Booklist

“Welcome back to the magical, maddening milieu of Oyeyemi’s singular fiction, in which trapdoors spring open and revelations emerge like Russian nesting dolls.” —O, The Oprah Magazine 
“A surreal, inspired journey.” —The Millions
“Damn. Helen Oyeyemi must be the fastest literary novelist in the business. Which doesn’t bother me one little bit, because I’m always ready to read more from her.”—Literary Hub

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593192337
ISBN-10: 0593192338
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: April 6th, 2021
Pages: 272
Language: English