"Haunting, intimate, and beautifully told: a magical debut novel from a writer to watch.” —Emily M. Danforth, national bestselling and award-winning author of The Miseducation of Cameron Post
A spellbinding young adult fantasy debut following three best friends who turn to magic when they're haunted by a friend's death...and perhaps her spirit, combining the atmospheric thrills of The Hazel Wood with the nuanced realism of Erika L. Sanchez.
For best friends Miliani, Inez, Natalie and Jasmine, Providence, Rhode Island has a magic of its own. From the bodegas and late-night food trucks on Broad Street to The Hill that watches over the city, every corner of Providence glows with memories of them practicing spells, mixing up potions and doing séances with the help of the magic Miliani’s Filipino grandfather taught her.
But when Jasmine is killed by a drunk driver, the world they have always known is left haunted by grief...and Jasmine's lingering spirit. Determined to bring her back, the surviving friends band together, testing the limits of their magic and everything they know about life, death, and each other.
And as their plan to resurrect Jasmine grows darker and more demanding than they imagined, their separate lives begin to splinter the bonds they depend on, revealing buried secrets that threaten the people they care about most. Miliani, Inez and Natalie will have to rely on more than just their mystical abilities to find the light.
Thrilling and absorbing, Deep in Providence is a story of profound yearning, and what happens when three teen girls are finally given the power to go after what they want.
“Magic runs like a glittering thread through this densely woven tale of friendship, grief, and identity, and what begins as a backbeat of creeping dread deftly builds into a landscape of supernatural terrors. Neilson balances her page-turning fantasy narrative against the coming of age of a trio of bereaved best friends with grace, delicacy, and startling humanity.” —Melissa Albert, New York Times-bestselling author of the Hazel Wood series and Our Crooked Hearts
About the Author
Riss M. Neilson is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the Rhode Island College, she won the English department’s Jean Garrigue Award, which was judged by novelist, Nick White. She is from Providence and lives for the city’s art and culture scene. When she’s not writing, she’s watching anime or playing video games with her two children. Deep in Providence is her debut novel.
A Finalist for the 2022 New England Book Awards
A Buzzfeed New LGBTQA+ YA Novels You Need This Spring Selection
“A spellbinding tale of friendship and grief told with startling tenderness and emotional truth.” —Ryan Douglass, New York Times-bestselling author of The Taking of Jake Livingston
"Equal parts haunting and healing, Deep in Providence takes an intricate look at grief, family, spirituality, and love through the lenses of three magical girls on the edge of adulthood. A bittersweet story that's sure to linger in readers' hearts." —Racquel Marie, author of Ophelia After All
"Enthralling, magical and haunting—a beautifully written story of family and friendship, loss and love.” —Sue Lynn Tan, bestselling author of Daughter of the Moon Goddess
"Neilson harnesses the electric power of young female friendship, grief, and magic, in spooky and spellbinding ways. Deep in Providence will have you mesmerized from the first page." —Goldy Moldavsky, New York Times-bestselling author of The Mary Shelley Club
"Reader beware: This book will enthrall you. Once I opened it, I could not put it down! By braiding together the perspectives of three bold and nuanced best friends who are grieving the loss of their fourth, Neilson casts a powerful spell that will haunt readers long after the final page. The friendships feel so tangibly real that I miss these girls already—and that’s the best kind of magic." —Romina Garber, bestselling author of Lobizona
"A beautiful exploration of friendship, grief, and love that transcends everything—even death—Deep in Providence is a searing debut novel. It is the perfect combination of terror and tenderness." —Lillie Lainoff, author of One for All
“Neilson’s explorations of grief, love, and friendship are mesmerizing, gut-wrenching, and magical. It’s refreshing to see characters who are allowed to make mistakes, who are allowed to grow and learn from their experiences. A spectacularly haunting debut that doesn’t shy away from heavy-hitting topics, all handled with the kind of tender storytelling that leaves an indelible mark.” — Kalynn Bayron, bestselling author of Cinderella Is Dead
"With intricately woven storytelling that blends hurt and hope, magic and secrets, Deep in Providence follows three teen girls as they journey through love and loss, exploring the complexities of grief with raw, heartfelt honesty. Riss M. Neilson has crafted an absorbing debut that will hold readers spellbound." —Lyndall Clipstone, author of Lakesedge
“Riss M. Neilson’s debut, Deep in Providence, is an unmissable read—a haunting and moving story about three girls who turn in desperation to magic after their friend dies in a car accident. This is a beautiful exploration of grief, love, friendship and family. And Miliani, Inez and Natalie have an intense depth that will make readers fall in love with them all.” —Vanessa Len, author of Only a Monster
“Deep in Providence is a searing, beautiful portrait of love and pain. With spellbinding characters and masterfully constructed scenes, this is a book that you can’t put down, even when it’s breaking your heart.” —Kylie Lee Baker, author of The Keeper of Night
"Mesmerizing, spell-binding and absolutely entrancing, this book had me wrapped into its magic from the first sentence." —Belle Ellrich, Bookseller
"Deep in Providence is a beautiful, haunting novel about letting go and finding peace for yourself and for those who are gone." —BookPage
"Fresh twists keep pages turning, eerily and heartbreakingly building toward a satisfying conclusion in which questions are answered. The mysteries are skillfully layered, and the expert pacing keeps the story flowing well. Riveting, deeply moving, and full of heart." —Kirkus Reviews
"In alternating voices, Neilson’s intensely character-driven. . .debut traces three grief-stricken teens’ loss of a beloved figure—and hoped-for versions of themselves. Imbuing each with distinct flaws and gifts, to say nothing of the complicated relationships binding the girls together in love and friendship, the story fully immerses the reader in a magic-infused Providence, R.I." —Publishers Weekly
"The characters each have a high-interest back story. There is plenty of modern-day teenage angst intertwined with traditional Filipino lore. . .This debut is a worthy addition to YA collections and will be solid recommendation." —School Library Journal
"As their powers grow, the friends try to fix all their problems with magic: Nat attempts to save her drug-addicted mother, Inez struggles to reconcile magic with her Catholic faith while facing an unplanned pregnancy, and Mili encounters the secret that plagues her family. . .the mixture of magic and realism is compelling, as are the family and friendship dynamics." —Booklist