“Jenn Givhan is a powerful conjurer of words. In River Woman, River Demon she has woven a tale rich in culture, folklore, and social relevance. Intriguing, suspenseful, and inspiring, the novel reminds us that no matter how dark life may become, we don’t need to be perfect and we don’t have to fight every battle alone to rise toward the light.” —Rudy Ruiz, author of The Resurrection of Fulgencio Ramirez and Valley of Shadows
When Eva’s husband is arrested for the murder of a friend, she must confront her murky past and embrace her magick to find out what really happened that night on the river.
Eva Santos Moon is a burgeoning Chicana artist who practices the ancient, spiritual ways of brujería and curanderisma, but she’s at one of her lowest points—suffering from disorienting blackouts, creative stagnation, and a feeling of disconnect from her magickal roots. When her husband, a beloved university professor and the glue that holds their family together, is taken into custody for the shocking murder of their friend, Eva doesn’t know whom to trust—least of all, herself. She soon falls under suspicion as a potential suspect, and her past rises to the surface, dredging up the truth about an eerily similar death from her childhood.
Struggling with fragmented memories and self-doubt, an increasingly terrified Eva fears that she might have been involved in both murders. But why doesn’t she remember? Only the dead women know for sure, and they’re coming for her with a haunting vengeance. As she fights to keep her family out of danger, Eva realizes she must use her magick as a bruja to protect herself and her loved ones, while confronting her own dark history.
A psychological thriller that weaves together the threads of folk magick with personal and cultural empowerment, River Woman, River Demon is a mysterious incantation of reckoning with the past and claiming one’s unique power and voice.
Jennifer Givhan, a National Endowment for the Arts and PEN/Rosenthal Emerging Voices fellow, is a Chicana and indigenous novelist, poet, and transformational coach. She is the author of Jubilee, which received an honorable mention for the 2021 Rudolfo Anaya Best Latino-Focused Fiction Book Award, and Trinity Sight, winner of the 2020 Southwest Book Award. She has also published four full-length poetry collections and her honors include the Frost Place Latinx Scholarship and the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize. She raises her children in New Mexico.