The irresistible literary debut about the hidden desires of church-going Black womenThe irresistible literary debut about the hidden desires of church-going Black women 'Left me wanting more. Masterfully written' Candice Carty-Williams, author of Queenie 'Joyous... It's a book in love with life' The Times 'Exquisite... delicious' Bolu Babalola, author of Love in Colour The Secret Lives of Church Ladies explores the raw and tender places where Black women and girls dare to follow their desires, and pursue a momentary reprieve from being good. There is fourteen-year-old Jael, who nurses a crush on the preacher's wife; the mother who bakes a sublime peach cobbler every Monday for her date with the married Pastor; and Eula and Caroletta, single childhood friends who seek solace in each other's arms every New Year's Eve. With their secret longings, new love, and forbidden affairs, these church ladies are as seductive as they want to be, as vulnerable as they need to be, as unfaithful and unrepentant as they care to be - and as free as they deserve to be.
'Tender, truthful... joyous... full of flawed, bruised, bold, complex, intensely human characters' - Sarah Waters
'It's terrific. I'm savouring every story in it, reading them once, then again.' - Madeline Miller
'Joyous... It's a book in love with life' - The Times
'Left me wanting more. Masterfully written. Deesha Philyaw knows the craft of writing as well as she does the nuances of sex' - Candice Carty-Williams
'Joyful, riotous... Philyaw's great triumph is to permit her characters to inhabit fully their rich and particular interior lives' - Alex Preston