Kelly McWiliams

Little Brown Young Readers
February, 2022
Fiction / Supernatural / Thriller
Historical Fiction
Ages 12 and up
"...a spine-tingling, empowering look at justice and civil action that urges readers to be aware, to be true to themselves, and to take action. As Magnolia observes, ‘As twin sisters, white and Black, we are a symbol of coming victory. A promise of change.’”
-BookPage, starred review
Lovecraft Country meets The Vanishing Half in a gothic horror novel about twin sisters separated across the color line after the murder of their parents.

As infants, twin sisters Charlie Yates and Magnolia Heathwood were secretly separated after the brutal lynching of their parents, who died for loving across the color line. Now, at the dawn of the Civil Rights movement, Charlie is a young Black organizer in Harlem, while white-passing Magnolia is the heiress to a cotton plantation in rural Georgia.

Magnolia knows nothing of her racial heritage, but secrets are hard to keep in a town haunted by the ghosts of its slave-holding past. When Magnolia finally learns the truth, her reflection mysteriously disappears from mirrors—the sign of a terrible curse. Meanwhile, in Harlem, Charlie's beloved grandmother falls ill. Her final wish is to be buried back home in Georgia—and, unbeknownst to Charlie, to see her long-lost granddaughter, Magnolia Heathwood, one last time. So Charlie travels into the Deep South, confronting the land of her worst nightmares—and Jim Crow segregation.

The sisters reunite as teenagers in the deeply haunted town of Eureka, Georgia, where ghosts linger for centuries and dangers lurk behind every mirror. They couldn’t be more different but each will need the other to put the hauntings of the past to rest, break the mirror's deadly curse—and discover the meaning of sisterhood in a racially divided land.
Dear Readers,

Mirror Girls is a story about identity, sisterhood, and how differently society treats us based on the color of our skin. Though they are fraternal twins, Magnolia passes for white in the Jim Crow South, while Charlie suffers all the consequences of second-class citizenship. They were separated as infants, but love, and some strange mirror magic, bring them together again in the small town of Eureka, Georgia. Together, they reject society’s warped reflections and claim one another as sisters, while battling the forced segregation of a rural cemetery.

When it comes to family, remember: It is never too late to fix what’s been broken.

Best wishes,

Mirror Girls Book Club Menu and Recipe
To celebrate this Southern gothic read, I recommend serving oyster rice, fried chicken, and a hearty portion of blackberry slab pie.

Enjoy this Blackberry Slab Pie recipe, fit to feed a crowd. In Mirror Girls, at a bountiful repast, Magnolia and Charlie eat blackberry pie with half the townspeople of Eureka, while music plays, memories unspool, and children dance and laugh.

There may be a ghost or two among the guests, but there’s no need to fear at your own gathering. Especially if you’ve put away your mirrors…