"In gorgeous, compassionate prose, Perkins-Valdez continues our national conversation about people working together to heal our communities."
Washington Post on BALM
"Dolen Perkins-Valdez is an ambitious writer who looks to the past with a calm gaze and a sympathetic heart. In her new novel Balm, as in her startling debut Wench, the complexity of her characters and visual power of her prose make for riveting reading."
Valerie Martin, author of Property and The Ghost of the Mary Celeste, on Balm
"Wench immerses readers in its characters' complex emotional lives...A deeply moving, beautifully written debut novel told from the heart."
USA Today on WENCH
"Perkins-Valdez manages to shed a poetic light on one of the ugliest chapters in American history."
"Elegantly crafted …captures the fierce energy, diversity, and suffering of Civil War-era Chicago…Perkins-Valdez moves gracefully among her three protagonists’ viewpoints as they struggle to claim their authentic gifts and free themselves of the pain of their pasts. Her spare, lyrical voice is unsentimental yet compassionate.”
Publishers Weekly on BALM
"Full of love and loss, mystery and meaning, Balm draws you into a world in tumultuous transition. Hold on tight as Dolen Perkins-Valdez weaves a story you have not heard before, one which you will find impossible to forget."
Pearl Cleage, author of Things I Should Have Told My Daughter, on BALM
"From the first page, I fell under the spell of the magical Balm. Powerful characters and exquisite prose bring to life a tumultuous period of American history that still demands our attention. The stories of Madge, Sadie, and Hemp illuminate the larger story of a post-war nation in search of redemption. With emotional depth and evocative detail, Perkins-Valdez has written a beautiful novel I will not soon forget."
Tara Conklin, New York Times bestselling author of House Girl, on BALM
"A heartbreaker, full of understated tragedy and lyrical prose...Perkins-Valdez has woven a devastingly beautiful account of a cruel past."
People Magazine on WENCH
"In Balm, Dolen Perkins-Valdez effectively reveals the emotional injury suffered by everyone following the Civil War. All of the characters came alive and I cared for them deeply."
Kathleen Grissom, author of The Kitchen House, on Balm
"Heart-wrenching, intriguing, original and suspenseful, this novel showcases Perkins-Valdez's ability to bring the unfortunate past to life.."
Publishers Weekly on WENCH