Since the traumatic birth of her daughter, Lulu an internationally renowned soprano, hasn't dared utter a note. She's afraid that her body is too fragile and that she may have lost her talent to a long-dreaded curse afflicting all of the mothers in her family. When Lulu was a child, her strong-willed grandmother Ada filled her head with fables of the family's enchanted history in the Polish countryside. A fantastical lore took hold after an incantatory mix of young love, desperate hope, and one sinister bargain that altered the family's history forever. Since that fateful pact each mother in their family has been given a daughter, but each daughter has exacted an essential cost from her mother. Now, in the early days of her own daughter's life, Lulu now finds herself weighing her overwhelming love for her child against the burden of her family's past. In incandescent prose, debut novelist Adrienne Celt skillfully intertwines the sensuous but precise physicality of both motherhood and music. She infuses The Daughters with a bewitching figure of Polish mythology that creates a tapestry of secrets, affairs, revealing a family legacy laced with brilliance, tragedy, and ancestral lore.
Adrienne Celt's work has been published in Esquire, the Kenyon Review, the Rumpus, and elsewhere, and she holds an MFA from Arizona State University. She lives in Tucson, and she has a Polish grandmother of her own.