When Jade Nguyen arrives in Vietnam for a visit with her estranged father, she has one goal: survive five weeks pretending to be a happy family in the French colonial house Ba is restoring. She’s always lied to fit in, so if she’s straight enough, Vietnamese enough, American enough, she can get out with the college money he promised.
But the house has other plans. Night after night, Jade wakes up paralyzed. The walls exude a thrumming sound while bugs leave their legs and feelers in places they don’t belong. She finds curious traces of her ancestors in the gardens they once tended. And at night Jade can’t ignore the ghost of the beautiful bride who leaves cryptic warnings: Don’t eat.
Neither Ba nor her sweet sister Lily believe that there is anything strange happening. With help from a delinquent girl, Jade will prove this house — the home they have always wanted will not rest until it destroys them. Maybe, this time, she can keep her family together. As she roots out the house’s rot, she must also face the truth of who she is and who she must become to save them all.
Praise for She Is a Haunting
“Atmospheric descriptions and sharp plotting combine with slowly escalating danger from both supernatural and terribly real forces. Examinations of Western influences and past atrocities in Vietnam and their effects on the diaspora work in harmony with the novel’s uncanny elements, making for a satisfying blend of traditional horror with modern themes and concerns. Both the ghosts and the humans in this richly layered work are alluring and deadly.” –Kirkus, starred review
“This is a multi-layered exemplar of the horror genre, as the terrifying supernatural aspects of this story combine with the equally horrific colonialist history of this home (a gruesome past, even if it wasn’t a devouring, sentient being). All of that is then topped off with a compelling exploration of the dynamics of estranged families and how culture, identity, and feelings of what is home can vary dramatically from generation to generation.” –BCCB
“Tran smartly weaves Vietnamese culture and real horrors of French imperialism to deliver an eerie tale overflowing with deeply unsettling atmosphere.” –Publishers Weekly
“She Is a Haunting is a satisfying Gothic coming-of-age novel in which a house, a heritage, and the uncertain future threaten to consume a college-bound woman.” –Foreword Reviews
“Trang Thanh Tran’s debut novel, She Is a Haunting, is a welcome addition to the quickly growing canon of culturally diverse, queer horror.” –Bookpage
“A riveting debut from a remarkable new voice! Trang Thanh Tran weaves an impressive gothic mystery in which Jade’s father is determined to restore a decrepit home to its former glory and Jade is the only person who feels the soul-crushing devastation of colonialism lingering within its walls.” –Angeline Boulley, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Firekeeper’s Daughter
“She Is a Haunting is a beguiling feast of a book that drew me in immediately with its exquisitely unsettling atmosphere, vivid prose, and creeping horrors—both supernatural and all too human.” –Kate Alice Marshall, author of I Am Still Alive and Rules for Vanishing
“This exquisitely disturbing tale of identity and colonialism and intergenerational trauma will eat its way under your skin and live there forever. Read this one with the lights on. I’m ready to be haunted by whatever Trang Thanh Tran writes next.” –Emily X.R. Pan, New York Times bestselling author
“SHE IS A HAUNTING is exactly the kind of book I love–gorgeous prose, a deliciously terrifying atmosphere, incisive thematic resonance, and a gloriously complex heroine. Jade is an unforgettable character, all tender longings and sharp edges, and readers everywhere will root for her just as hard as I did. Put it on your shelf next to REBECCA and THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE. An incredible, riveting debut.” –Claire Legrand, New York Times bestselling author of Furyborn and Sawkill Girls