Plume Books, Paperback, 9780452283282, 336pp.
Publication Date: May 2002
Lizzie Hayes, a member of the San Francisco elite, is a seemingly docile, middle-aged spinster praised for her volunteer work with the Ladies Relief and Protection Society Home, or "The Brown Ark". All she needs is the spark that will liberate her from the ruling conventions. When the wealthy and well-connected, but ill-reputed Mary Ellen Pleasant shows up at the Brown Ark, Lizzie is drawn to her. It is the beautiful, but mysterious Mary Ellen, an outcast among the women of the elite because of her notorious past and her involvement in voodoo, who will eventually hold the key to unlocking Lizzie's rebellious nature.
Loosely based in historical fact, Sister Noon is a wryly funny, playfully mysterious, and totally subversive novel from this "fine writer" whose "language dazzles" (San Francisco Chronicle).
"A playful, mysterious, highly imaginative narrative set in the San Francisco of the 1890's...Robust, sly, witty, elegant, unexpected and never, ever, boring." —Margot Livesey, The New York Times Book Review
"Sister Noon is funny, lyrical, spooky, inspired . . . A work of enchanting rumination-and one of the year's best reads." —The Seattle Times
"Fowler's prose is full of shimmering melancholy, and a ruminative irony that brings her characters and their world alive in the most unexpected ways...a dazzling book." —Jonathan Lethem