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The Cloisters

By Katy Hays
The Cloisters by Katy Hays digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

A Today Show #ReadwithJenna Book Club Pick

This instant New York Times bestseller that is “captivating in every sense of the word” (Sarah Pearse, New York Times bestselling author) follows a group of researchers uncovering a mysterious deck of tarot cards and shocking secrets in New York’s famed Met Cloisters.

When Ann Stilwell arrives in New York City, she expects to spend her summer working as a curatorial associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead, she finds herself assigned to The Cloisters, a gothic museum and garden renowned for its medieval art collection and its group of enigmatic researchers studying the history of divination.

Desperate to escape her painful past, Ann is happy to indulge the researchers’ more outlandish theories about the history of fortune telling. But what begins as academic curiosity quickly turns into obsession when she discovers a hidden 15th-century deck of tarot cards that might hold the key to predicting the future. When the dangerous game of power, seduction, and ambition at The Cloisters turns deadly, Ann becomes locked in a race for answers as the line between the arcane and the modern blurs.

A haunting and magical blend of genres, The Cloisters is a “masterwork of literary suspense that surges to an otherworldly conclusion” (Mark Prins, author of The Latinist).

424 Reviews

Expressionless Face“Okay so this started out really cool. I had theories about the twists and the characters and their intentions. And nope. Nothing cool or interesting. Around 75% of the way through I feel like the writer gave up.”
Lack of diversityPredictableUnengaging charactersUnsatisfying ending
Slightly Smiling Face“this was the first fiction book i picked up in years and i was very impressed. it had such a detailed depiction that i felt like i was in a movie. it has plot twists, lovable characters, and it’s not too dark. it actually has a fantasy type of writing to it. i loved the anticipation throughout the book, but did feel too slow at times. i thought it was well written and the mystery behind it was a really nice change of pace. ✨4/5✨”
Characters change and growMulti-layered charactersBeautifully writtenDescriptive writingAddictiveBeautiful settingDark settingComing of ageDark
Surprised Face with Open Mouth“For me this book started off so so strong, but then the ending felt so rushed and not complete. There was so much detail in the beginning ing and then the last five chapters where like “what?””
Colorful personalitiesMulti-layered charactersOriginal characters
Thinking Face“The descriptive imagery swept me away, I truly feel like I have seen Ann’s world. However, at no point in the novel did I really care what happened to any of the characters. The “mystery” of Ann’s desire to escape Walla Walla didn’t have me on edge, I kind of forgot about it. The relationship with her mother is quickly forgotten about and then rarely mentioned at all for the rest of the book. Ann says she’s changed, but we don’t have any evidence and just have to take her word for it.”
Beautifully writtenDescriptiveDisappointing romancePredictableUnengaging characters
Thinking Face“I have mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed the vibes and dark academia of it. I also liked that it didn't literally take place in a school, I thought that was unique. However, I wanted there to be more. I'm not sure what exactly but something about it was a little bit bland or flat. Maybe Ann should have gone further into insanity/obsession and not being able to distinguish reality? I feel the boundaries weren't pushed enough, idk what exactly should have changed. Not bad, just not great.”
Morally ambiguousBeautiful settingCreative settingDark settingObstacles overcome too easilyRushed endingUnengaging characters

About Katy Hays

Katy Hays is a writer and adjunct art history professor in California, where she teaches rural students from Truckee to Tecopa. She holds an MA in art history from Williams College and pursued her PhD at UC Berkeley. Having previously worked at major art institutions, including The Clark Art Institute and SF MoMA, she now lives with her husband and dog, Queso, in Olympic Valley, California. The Cloisters is her first novel.

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