Bestselling author Melinda Salisbury returns with her brand new novel: State of Sorrow

Sorrow lives in a country called Rhannon, which, for last eighteen years has been kept in a state of perpetual grieving by her father, the chancellor, who can’t forgive himself for an accident that happened before Sorrow was born. Mirrors are covered, clothes must be black, there is no music, no art, no joy. Sorrow and her friends have to have fun in secret, longing for the day they can open the curtains to let the sunshine in, and laugh without it being a crime. But the Chancellor is determined to keep them in mourning forever, even if has to resort to darker and deadlier ways to keep himself in mourning. And when a face from the past appears, everything is thrown into turmoil…

The idea for STATE OF SORROW came from four places: a treacherous bridge in Bosnia and Herzegovina; a Florence and the Machine song; a historical imposter who could have changed everything; and a trip to Kensington Palace to see an exhibition about Queen Victoria. All of those things led me to a single line: Sorrow – for that is all she brings us, and immediately in my head I saw a young woman, seventeen years old, who felt cursed by her own name.

In Sorrow I wanted to write a character who was like seventeen/eighteen year olds today; someone being expected to make big choices that will affect the rest of her life, but simultaneously not quite being trusted to do so. She’s idealistic, impatient and headstrong at times. She’s brave, but not to the point of stupid, she has a pretty solid moral compass, even though at times she wishes otherwise, and it’s never enough to stop her breaking rules if it suits her. But at the same time she’s insecure, and suffers greatly from imposter syndrome – all these people around her expect her to be this great thing and she’s convinced she’s not really the right person for the job. Her greatest strength is that she’ll do anything for the people she loves – there are no limits to what she’ll put herself through for them.

State of Sorrow is a story about grief, and imposter syndrome, and how hard it can be to believe in yourself. It’s a story about politics and ambition, and the lengths some people will go to, to win, no matter the cost for others. It’s about a young woman who has to step up when the adults around her keep letting her down – a theme I think a lot of us can connect with, especially over the past few years. And it’s about found family, and building a home out of people, not places.

There’s some romance, and some drama, and some humour. But mostly there’s a girl and her friends trying to right the wrongs that came before them.

My Top Five picks from the Teen Book Club

1) The Fandom – Anna Day
2) Wonder Woman: Warbringer – Leigh Bardugo
3) The Hazel Wood – Melissa Albert
4) The Hate You Give – Angie Thomas
5) Love, Simon – Becki Albertelli

Melinda Salisbury is the author of the UK’s bestselling YA debut novel of 2015 ‘The Sin Eater’s Daughter’. Her latest novel is available to buy now. Purchase your copy today here.

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