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The Pecan Children: Book summary and reviews of The Pecan Children by Quinn Connor

The Pecan Children by Quinn Connor

The Pecan Children

by Quinn Connor

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  • Published:
  • Jun 2024
    352 pages
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About this book

Book Summary

For fans of The Midnight Library and Demon Copperhead comes a breathtaking story of magical realism about two sisters, deeply tied to their small Southern town, fighting to break free of the darkness swallowing the land—and its endless cycle of pecan harvests—whole.

How long will you hold on when your world is gone?

In a small southern pecan town, the annual harvest is a time of both celebration and heartbreak. Even as families are forced to sell their orchards and move away, Lil Clearwater, keeper of a secret covenant with her land, swears she never will. When her twin Sasha returns to the dwindling town in hopes of reconnecting with the girl her heart never forgot, the sisters struggle to bridge their differences and share the immense burden of protecting their home from hungry forces intent on uprooting everything they love.

But there is rot hiding deep beneath the surface. Ghostly fires light up the night, and troubling local folklore is revealed to be all too true. Confronted with the phantoms of their pasts and the devastating threat to their future, the sisters come to the stark realization that in the kudzu-choked South, nothing is ever as it appears.

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!
  1. Like many small towns, Lil and Sasha's hometown has steadily declined over their lifetimes. Their memories of their home, and the reality of its current state, are drastically different, yet both versions of the place are real to them. Do you have places, or even people, from your life who have undergone such transformations over time? How do the characters cope with this in different ways?
  2. Lil is stubbornly loyal to her land and the covenant her mother passed on to her. How does this responsibility impact her life? Is her relationship to the orchard a gift or a burden?
  3. After Sasha returns home from New York, she keeps very busy doing odd jobs around town. She runs the ferry, does survey work, picks up tasks at local businesses, ...

You can see the full discussion here. This discussion will contain spoilers!

Some of the recent comments posted about The Pecan Children:

At what point did you suspect time didn’t flow normally around Clearwater Orchard? What hints did you find, either while reading or in hindsight?
I think the fires that people saw - the ones that weren't really there - or hadn't happened yet - were my first indication. Then the closed road made more sense - not that it was still closed but that they were working on it but it was ... - taking.mytime

At what point in the book did you begin to suspect Theon was more than he initially appeared? What do you think he represents?
I was very skeptical of Theon and was not sure in the beginning that he was not just a figment of Lil's imagination. Maybe her overworked mind playing tricks on her. I realized after the Jason incident that he was a shape shifter. Then looking ... - taking.mytime

Autumn feels she’s “never more peaceful than when she’s baking.” Why do you suppose this is? Is there some activity you’ve taken up that engenders this feeling in you that you turn to when you’re stressed?
Autumn feels needed when she bakes. Regardless of where she is it brings her home. It is her way of reaching out and helping others. It is relaxing for her. I sleep when I am extremely stressed. It is my way of escaping. And I will often wake with a ... - taking.mytime

Did the characters’ endings feel earned? What do you imagine happens to Lil, Sasha, Autumn, and Wyn after the epilogue? What feeling lingered with you at the end of the book?
I liked that Lil got to leave - altho believe she will be back. The rest of them staying was no surprise. They will stay caught in the time loop for as long as it exists. - taking.mytime

Early in the book Sasha thinks, “She could flee. She could hitchhike straight out of here to that…city where the fresh starts are.” Why do you suppose she doesn’t?
I agree with the others Sasha is waiting for Autumn They have a history together that she can't put aside. - caroln

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Media Reviews

"A sultry Southern gothic…With lyrical prose and a rich seam of folklore, Connor artfully braids satisfying mystery and romance subplots, creating an abiding sense of unease. This story of crumbling grandeur and family secrets will leave readers hungry for more." ―Publishers Weekly

"A captivating blend of horror, southern charm, and unapologetic queer representation that redefines the boundaries of family and love...a fresh and compelling take on both horror and family dynamics, leaving readers spellbound until the very last page. It's a masterful exploration of the intersection between darkness and light, tradition and progress, making it a must-read for fans of literary horror and inclusive storytelling." ―Booklist

"Tangled in the twisted roots of where the past and present meet, The Pecan Children is a haunting story of survival, limned with touches of magic. Fans of Delia Owens and Alix E. Harrow will enjoy this beautifully written, modern-day southern gothic wrapped in pecan vines, heartache, and hope." ―Heather Webber, USA Today bestselling author of Midnight at the Blackbird Café

"With creeping claustrophobia and a filter of the surreal over lushly detailed lives, The Pecan Children captures both the magic and despair of trying to hold onto home when the world is determined to take it away from you." ― Kiersten White, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Mister Magic

"With lyricism that commands attention, The Pecan Children offers a soulful exploration of the familial on an untamed and lush stage of what remains of the gathering commons." ―Monica Brashears, author of House of Cotton

This information about The Pecan Children was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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A Knowledge of Pecan Picking
I enjoyed the novel. I grew up in a small town that had several pecan trees, so each fall, after the first freeze at the first days of November, we kids would pick up pecans on the halves: We got half the pecans we gathered. But we would eat several while picking them up.

The story brought back many memories of my youth. Thank you, Miss Connor, with four hands.

Brenda W.

Interesting read
I enjoyed this story. I thought it was well written. There was family drama, feral children,strange happenings and a weird guy that kept popping up and annoying the sisters.

Mary Lou C

While I thought this book was well written, I also felt it was a little disjointed and far-fetched, even for fantasy. The ending was definitely a surprise. It’s not really my kind of story, but I think others might enjoy it.


Unexpectedly good
My first reaction to this book was one of disappointment. It appeared to be just another family drama. Twin sisters not getting along, one moved to the big city, one stays on the farm. They resolve their differences plus rekindle romances with their first loves. Meh. But then, strange things happen; feral children, people who don’t age, fires that appear and then disappear, mysterious shadows, a boogeyman. It’s all difficult to comprehend. The author does a good job of pulling it all together although there are a few loose ends that don’t make sense. I was pulling hard for those twins in the end. The story is mostly fantasy, with a little magic and a lot of love


A Different read
"The Pecan Children" by duo authors, Quinn Connor, transports their readers back thirty years to the pecan grooves of a small southern town in Arkansas. The novel's story line provides an interesting and rather creepy reading experience. Confronted with ghosts of the past and family secrets, Lil, one of the Clearwater sisters, works tirelessly in the orchard left by their mother. Her twin sister, Sasha, after reluctantly returning from a photography career in New York, does not fit into orchard life.

As many other reviewers, I had a mixed experience in reading this book. Its distinctiveness did not disappoint me, and its imaginative plot certainly intrigued me. And at times I did feel the pacing was slow, yet it kept me engaged with its weirdness. This book should not be considered your usual read, for this reader, it has a strange charisma to its oddness.

The randomness of the storyline kept me engaged, its loose ending, while left to the readers imagination, was unsatisfying and left me with several unanswered questions particularly about the pecan children. While this story dares to be different and embraces a world of quirks, it does however offer its readers a look into the world where the line between reality and imagination meets.


Southern Gothic Read

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the ARC of The Pecan Children

3.5 stars
A Southern Gothic with magical realism. Set on a pecan plantation in rural Arkansas where twin sisters grew up. Lil Clearwater works tirelessly in the pecan orchard left to her by her mother. Her balance is thrown off when her high school sweetheart returns to their depressed hometown. Sasha, Lil’s twin sister, has reluctantly returned back home from New York. Autumn, Sasha’s childhood crush is back in town also.

Confronted with ghosts of their past and family secrets. A quirky and haunting read, drenched in folklore.

The first half seemed a bit slow and second half was just okay for me. I did like the small southern town and the creepiness of the story. Many others have really liked this book. This is my first read from these authors and would read other books. Quinn Connor is one pen in two hands: Robyn Barrow and Alexandra Cronin.

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Author Information

Quinn Connor

Quinn Connor is one pen in two hands: Robyn Barrow and Alexandra Cronin. An Arkansan and a Texan, when they aren't writing, they're arguing about the differences between queso and cheese dip. Both writers from young ages, Robyn and Alexandra met in college and together developed their unique co-writing voice. They are very thankful that no matter what, there's always one other person in the world who cares about their characters as much as they do. Robyn is a PhD candidate in art history at the University of Pennsylvania. When she isn't scavenging cheese and free wine at lectures, she spends her days happily exploring crumbling medieval churches. Alexandra is a North Texas transplant living in Brooklyn with her monstrous cat, Prosper, working in PR to fund her writing habit. In her free time, she can be found exploring the city for a new favorite restaurant, topping off her tea, and amassing a collection of winter coats. Unless Robyn is trekking in Iceland, or Alexandra is chasing down rumors of homemade pasta in Park Slope, they write every day. It's their preferred form of conversation.

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