In New England native Patricia A. Smith’s debut novel “The Year of Needy Girls,” a small town in Massachusetts is thrown into a frenzied witch hunt when a local boy is brutally murdered, an event that quickly turns upstanding members of the community like Deirdre Murphy and her partner Sara Jane Edmonds into targets of suspicion. A strikingly nuanced exploration of identity and the impact of misperception and bigotry, “The Year of Needy Girls” is a timely reminder of just how dangerous paranoia fueled by intolerance can be. “The Year of Needy Girls” is the latest title in Akashic’s Kaylie Jones Books imprint.
Smith will make an appearance on Saturday, July 15 at 1 p.m. at Maine Coast Book Shop, 158 Main St., Damariscotta. The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reading and book-signing.