New York Times
bestselling author Morgan Jerkins makes her fiction debut with this
electrifying novel, for fans of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Jacqueline
Woodson, that brings to life one powerful and enigmatic family in a
tale rife with secrets, betrayal, intrigue, and magic.
wants to become a mother, but each of her previous pregnancies has
ended in heartbreak. This time has to be different, so she turns to
the Melancons, an old and powerful Harlem family known for their
caul, a precious layer of skin that is the secret source of their
When a deal for
Laila to acquire a piece of caul falls through, she is heartbroken,
but when the child is stillborn, she is overcome with grief and rage.
What she doesn’t know is that a baby will soon be delivered in her
family—by her niece, Amara, an ambitious college student—and
delivered to the Melancons to raise as one of their own. Hallow is
special: she’s born with a caul, and their matriarch, Maman,
predicts the girl will restore the family’s prosperity.
Growing up, Hallow
feels that something in her life is not right. Did Josephine, the
woman she calls mother, really bring her into the world? Why does her
cousin Helena get to go to school and roam the streets of New York
freely while she’s confined to the family’s decrepit brownstone?
As the Melancons’
thirst to maintain their status grows, Amara, now a successful lawyer
running for district attorney, looks for a way to avenge her
longstanding grudge against the family. When mother and daughter
cross paths, Hallow will be forced to decide where she truly belongs.
and page-turning, Caul Baby illuminates the search for
familial connection, the enduring power of tradition, and the dark
corners of the human heart.