In this riveting, heartfelt debut, a young woman assumes a new name to escape her dark past and find the redemption she desperately seeks.

“It’s impossible not to root for this strong, willful girl as she finds her place in the world and for her brother as he tries to make sense of it.”—Kirkus Reviews


“Charming, touching, and a host of other adjectives not often associated with a murderous thirteen-year-old.”—Booklist

Venus Black is a straitlaced A student fascinated by the study of astronomy—until the night she commits a shocking crime that tears her family apart and ignites a media firestorm. Venus refuses to talk about what happened or why, except to blame her mother. Adding to the mystery, Venus’s developmentally challenged younger brother, Leo, goes missing.
 
More than five years later, Venus is released from prison with a suitcase of used clothes, a fake identity, and a determination to escape her painful past. Estranged from her mother, and with her beloved brother still missing, she sets out to make a fresh start in Seattle, skittish and alone. But as new people enter her orbit—including a romantic interest and a young girl who seems like a mirror image of her former lost self—old wounds resurface, and Venus realizes that she can’t find a future while she’s running from her past.
 
In this gripping story, debut novelist Heather Lloyd brilliantly captures ordinary lives thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Told through a constellation of captivating voices, My Name Is Venus Black explores the fluidity of right and wrong, the pain of betrayal, and the meaning of love and family.

Praise for My Name Is Venus Black
 
“Fans of realistic coming-of-age fiction will enjoy Lloyd’s fast-paced first novel for the freshly drawn original characters, compelling story line, and beautiful tribute to the healing power of love. It’s bound to have crossover appeal to older YA readers.”Library Journal
 
“A dark but ultimately uplifting story about family, love, and forgiveness, and how to find your place in the world, My Name Is Venus Black is a powerful debut novel from a fresh voice in fiction.”New York Times bestselling author Sarah Jio
“It’s impossible not to root for this strong, willful girl as she finds her place in the world and for her brother as he tries to make sense of it. A badass bildungsroman.”Kirkus Reviews

“Lloyd’s debut novel is charming, touching. . . . Lloyd’s extraordinary plot is grounded in the complex, palpable emotions she exacts from her beautifully realized, heartwarming characters. A culminating series of reunions illuminate their richness and humanity as they confront guilt, blame, and forgiveness. Lloyd’s vivid, superbly crafted novel will have wide appeal.”Booklist

“Fans of realistic coming-of-age fiction will enjoy [Heather] Lloyd’s fast-paced first novel for the freshly drawn original characters, compelling story line, and beautiful tribute to the healing power of love. It’s bound to have crossover appeal to older YA readers.”Library Journal

“A dark but ultimately uplifting story about family, love, and forgiveness, and how to find your place in the world, My Name Is Venus Black is a powerful debut novel from a fresh voice in fiction.”New York Times bestselling author Sarah Jio

“Moving . . . [Lloyd] adroitly brings the resilient Venus to life. . . . A satisfying tale about family, forgiveness, and moving on.”Publishers Weekly

“A timely, must-read novel that you won’t be able to put down! Heather Lloyd’s debut will make us rethink what we think we know about family, community, and our responsibilities to each other. It’s a book we’ll pass along to friends and family, impatient for the discussion and discoveries that will follow as we recognize ourselves among the pages.”—Jonis Agee, award-winning author of The Bones of Paradise

“It’s impossible not to root for this strong, willful girl as she finds her place in the world and for her brother as he tries to make sense of it.”Kirkus Reviews

“Charming, touching, and a host of other adjectives not often associated with a murderous thirteen-year-old.”Booklist

“Heather Lloyd has created a raw, rich character who won me over completely. Her search for peace and belonging is utterly riveting.”—Amanda Eyre Ward, bestselling author of The Same Sky

“Venus is the star of this story, but I also fell in love with all the other characters, many of whom do all the wrong things for all the right reasons. Book groups will want to dive into the novel’s complex moral dilemmas.”—Anna Whiston-Donaldson, New York Times bestselling author of Rare Bird

“A page-turning exploration of the darker, coming-of-age realities of childhood—but told gently, honestly, and with a generous amount of hope.”New York Times bestselling author Jamie Ford