None But the Righteous by Chantal James
Lyrical, riveting, and haunting from its opening lines, None But the Righteous is an extraordinary debut that signals the arrival of an unforgettable new voice in contemporary fiction.
In seventeenth-century Peru, St. Martin de Porres was torn from his body after death. His bones were pillaged as relics, and his spirit was said to inhabit those bones. Four centuries later, nineteen-year old Ham is set adrift from his hometown of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Hidden beneath his clothes, he wears his only valued possession: a pendant handed down from his foster mother, Miss Pearl. There’s something about the pendant that has always gripped him, and the curiosity of it has grown into a kind of comfort.
When Ham finally embarks on a fraught journey back home, he seeks the answer to a question he cannot face: is Miss Pearl still alive? Ham travels from Atlanta to rural Alabama, and from one young woman to another, as he evades the devastation of what awaits him in New Orleans. Catching sight of a freedom he’s never known, he must reclaim his body and mind from the spirit who watches over him, guides him, and seizes possession of him.