The Book of M|Peng Shepherd
The Book of M
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Brad Thor's Summer 2018 Fiction Pick for THE TODAY SHOW

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY Elle - Refinery29 - PopSugar - Verge

"The Book of M is devastating and inventive as Shepherd examines the value of memory, packing in imaginative twists as she goes." --USA Today

Eerie, dark, and compelling, The Book of M] will not disappoint lovers of The Passage and Station Eleven. --Booklist


Set in a dangerous near future world, The Book of M tells the captivating story of a group of ordinary people caught in an extraordinary catastrophe who risk everything to save the ones they love. It is a sweeping debut that illuminates the power that memories have not only on the heart, but on the world itself.

One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man's shadow disappears--an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories.

Ory and his wife Max have escaped the Forgetting so far by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day Max's shadow disappears too.

Knowing that the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to Ory, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up the time they have left together. Desperate to find Max before her memory disappears completely, he follows her trail across a perilous, unrecognizable world, braving the threat of roaming bandits, the call to a new war being waged on the ruins of the capital, and the rise of a sinister cult that worships the shadowless.

As they journey, each searches for answers: for Ory, about love, about survival, about hope; and for Max, about a new force growing in the south that may hold the cure.

Like The Passage and Station Eleven, this haunting, thought-provoking, and beautiful novel explores fundamental questions of memory, connection, and what it means to be human in a world turned upside down.


  • ISBN-13: 9780062669605
  • ISBN-10: 0062669605
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Company
  • Publish Date: June 2018
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Page Count: 496

Don't forget about me

BookPage Top Pick in Fiction, June 2018

Imagine a world in which shadows are more than simple physical phenomena that occur whenever light strikes a surface. What if our shadows were the guardians of all our memories and the core essence of who we are? What kind of darkness might descend upon the earth if one day people’s shadows suddenly began to vanish without an explanation, taking with them biographical details and threatening to unravel reality? This is the terrifying premise of Peng Shepherd’s outstanding and unforgettable The Book of M.

Our guides to this dystopian future are Ory and his wife, Max, who have quarantined themselves in a mountain lodge in Virginia while the mysterious plague of shadowlessness gradually sweeps across the planet. Despite all their safeguards, Max has recently lost her shadow, and it is only a matter of time before she begins to lose herself. In an attempt to stave off her forgetting, Ory gives Max a tape recorder to act as a repository for her memories. However, one day Ory returns from a scavenging trip to discover Max gone, prompting him to venture into a savage, chaotic world on a desperate and foolhardy mission to reunite with her. Even if the day should come when Max no longer remembers him, Ory knows he will never be able to forget or give up on Max.

Shepherd has constructed an exceedingly thoughtful and clever story that is perfectly paced and intricately plotted, producing a narrative filled with a genuine sense of urgency, thrilling twists and jaw-dropping revelations. Instantly absorbing, The Book of M is a scary, surprising, sad and sentimental story that will be deeply felt by readers while capturing their imaginations and hearts.

Readers shouldn’t be surprised if the only times they can bear to put this book down are when they feel the need to confirm that their shadows are still firmly intact.


This article was originally published in the June 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.