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The 2021 Book Releases to Pre-Order and Thank Yourself Later

best books 2021
Design By Morgan McMullen

The only good thing about 2020 was the books, and now it's time to look forward to an exciting batch of 2021 releases. In 2021, expect a brilliant mix of fiction from bestselling authors like Morgan Jerkins and Sally Rooney, along with an invitation into the lives of prominent figures like Senator Mazie K. Hirono in Heart of Fire and the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Justice, Justice Thou Shalt Pursue. Ahead, our running list of the most anticipated books of 2021 to pre-order today and thank yourself later.

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'The Push' by Ashley Audrain
$23.92

If you're looking for a psychological drama about motherhood, Ashley Audrain's The Push takes readers inside the mind of main character Blythe who questions her relationship with her daughter when she's born, forcing her to eventually confront some truths about herself. 

Available January 5, 2021

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'One of the Good Ones' by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite
$17.46

When teen activist Kezi Smith is killed after attending a social justice rally, her family is left to wonder what it actually means to be "one of the good ones."

Available January 5, 2021

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'The Prophets' by Robert Jones, Jr.
$24.84

Robert Jones, Jr.'s debut novel, The Prophets, is a queer love story centered on two enslaved men, Isaiah and Samuel, who live together on a plantation in the Deep South—forced to confront oppression, betrayal, and ultimately, the threat of their existence.  

Available January 5, 2021

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'Black Buck' by Mateo Askaripour
$26.00

Twenty-two-year-old Darren seemingly goes from a Starbucks employee to a ruthless salesperson at an NYC tech startup overnight, becoming unrecognizable to his family. After tragedy strikes, he turns his grief into action by devising a plan to help young people of color enter America's salesforce and achieve the "American dream."

Available January 12, 2021

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'Detransition, Baby' by Torrey Peters
$24.84

When Reese's girlfriend Amy decides to detransition and become "Ames," Reese finds herself engaging in self-destructive behavior. Things get even more complicated when Ames impregnates his boss and lover, Katrina. Alas, it gives him a chance to decide whether this is an opportunity to have both Reese and Katrina in his life.

Available January 12, 2021

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'Aftershocks' by Nadia Owusu
$23.92

Nadia Owusu's gripping memoir helps readers struggling with their own identity feel seen through Owusu's recount of her unstable childhood, family secrets, and depression that eventually lead to her self-discovery. 

Available January 12, 2021

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'You Have a Match' by Emma Lord
$18.99

Tweet Cute author Emma Lord returns with You Have a Match, where main character Abby finds out that she has a secret sister who she decides to meet at summer camp. Expect some juicy drama to follow. 

Available January 12, 2021

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'Concrete Rose' by Angie Thomas
$18.38

Fans of The Hate U Give will be excited to learn Angie Thomas' second book in the series, Concrete Rose, takes readers to Garden Heights 17 years before the events in the first novel. 

Available January 12, 2021

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'Run to Win' by Stephanie Schriock and Christina Reynolds
$24.84

In Run to WinEMILY's List President Stephanie Schriock and VP of Communications Christina Reynolds create a guide on how to run for office and win. It includes a foreword from Vice President Kamala Harris who knows a thing or two about winning. 

Available January 12, 2021

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'Shipped' by Angie Hockman
$14.72

When a workaholic marketing manager and a remote social media manager (who are both up for the same promotion!) are forced to go on a company cruise together, they discover that their virtual love/hate relationship may not include much hate in real life after all. 

Available January 19, 2021

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'Let Me Tell You What I Mean' by Joan Didion
$21.16

Readers who have been longing for new Joan Didion will be thrilled to learn she's publishing 12 previously uncollected essays in Let Me Tell You What I Mean.

Available January 26, 2021

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'The Ex Talk' by Rachel Lynn Solomon
$14.72

If you happen to love a good romance and NPR, look no further than Rachel Lynn Solomon's The Ex Talk

Available January 26, 2021

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'The Girls I've Been' by Tess Sharpe
$17.46

Soon to be a Netflix film starring Millie Bobby Brown, The Girls I've Been centers on Nora, the daughter of a con woman, who is caught in a bank heist and determined to get herself, her girlfriend, and her ex/best friend out safely...no matter what it takes. 

Available January 26, 2021

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'Girl A' by Abigail Dean
$24.84

Behold: a psychological novel about a girl who escapes captivity, and later finds herself at the very place she escaped from—forced to confront her identity as "Girl A." 

Available February 2, 2021

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'Surviving the White Gaze' by Rebecca Carroll
$23.92

In Surviving the White Gaze, cultural critic Rebecca Carroll reflects on her childhood growing up Black in a white rural New Hampshire town and how she forged her path as a Black woman in America.

Available February 2, 2021

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'Milk Blood Heat' by Dantiel W. Moniz
$23.00

If you're obsessed with Florida, Dantiel W. Moniz's Milk Blood Heat uses the state as a backdrop to tell compelling stories of ordinary people in this memorable debut. 

Available February 2, 2021

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'This Close to Okay' by Leesa Cross-Smith
$24.84

In This Close to Okay, Leesa Cross-Smith tells the story of recently-divorced therapist Tallie Clark, who spots a man named Emmett on a bridge who's seemingly trying to end his life. As they learn more about each other (the book is told in alternating perspectives), Tallie chooses not to tell him she's a therapist. Instead, they have to learn the truth about each other—and themselves—the hard way.

Available February 2, 2021

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'Fake Accounts' by Lauren Oyler
$22.99

Allow Lauren Oyler to take you on a wild ride in Fake Accounts, where a woman discovers her boyfriend is an anonymous online conspiracy theorist. Believe it or not, that's only the beginning.

Available February 2, 2021

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'My Year Abroad' by Chang-Rae Lee
$25.76

When Pong Lou, a Chinese American entrepreneur, takes Tiller, an average American college student, with him on a trip across Asia, his perspective on life is forever changed. 

Available February 2, 2021

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'Do Better' by Rachel Ricketts
$24.84

Rachel Ricketts's Do Better: Spiritual Activism for Fighting and Healing from White Supremacy addresses anti-racism from a spiritually-aligned perspective, providing readers with a guidebook on how to fight racial injustice and white supremacy from the inside out.

Available February 2, 2021

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'The Kindest Lie' by Nancy Johnson
$25.75

Nancy Johnson's The Kindest Lie finds main character, Ruth, back in her hometown that's plagued with racism and despair during the 2008 financial crisis. There she befriends Midnight, a young white boy who helps her uncover secrets from her past. 

Available February 2, 2021

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'Kink' Edited by R.O. Kwon and Garth Greenwell
$15.64

Featuring an incredible roster of writers, Kink is a short fiction collection that explores love, lust, BDSM, and more, edited by bestselling author R.O. Kwon and Garth Greenwell.  

Available February 9, 2021

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'Sparks Like Stars' by Nadia Hashimi
$25.75

In Sparks Like Stars, Sitara Zamani is transported to a new American life after communists staged a coup in her home of Afghanistan, assassinating the president and her entire family. Forty years later, she encounters the soldier who saved her (and may have been responsible for her family's death), prompting her to return to the country for answers. 

Available March 2, 2021

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'My Inner Sky' by Mari Andrew
$20.24

There's something about Mari Andrew's words and illustrations that make you feel at home. My Inner Sky reminds readers of the shared grief, joy, and sorrow that we experience throughout life—and how to cope with it.

Available March 2, 2021

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'Professional Troublemaker' by Luvvie Ajayi Jones
$23.92

If you've been consumed with imposter syndrome or, frankly, anything that's been holding you back in life, allow New York Times bestselling author and keynote speaker Luvvie Ajayi Jones to help you tackle that fear through her signature wit and refreshing honesty.

Available March 2, 2021

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'Infinite Country' by Patricia Engel
$23.00

Patricia Engel's Infinite Country takes readers into the lives of a Columbian family who has immigrated to the U.S. and is forced to weigh the all-too-familiar struggle of risking deportation or willingly returning to the very country they decided to flee from. 

Available March 2, 2021

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'How Beautiful We Were' by Imbolo Mbue
$25.76

When the fictional African village of Kosawa is being destroyed by an American oil company, the people residing in the village decide to fight back, prepared for the consequences that they'll face. 

Available March 9, 2021

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'Black Girl, Call Home' by Jasmine Mans
$13.80

Jasmine Mans's highly-anticipated poetry collection, Black Girl, Call Home, beautifully illustrates what it's like to be a queer Black woman in America. 

Available March 9, 2021

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'Act Your Age, Eve Brown' by Talia Hibbert
$14.71

Talia Hibbert's third book in the Brown Sisters series focuses on the unpredictable Eve Brown and the unexpected love she finds at the bed and breakfast she interviewed as a chef for. She may or may not have also ~ accidentally ~ hit the owner with her car, but we'll leave the rest of that story for the book. 

Available March 9, 2021

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'Justice, Justice Thou Shalt Pursue' by Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Amanda L. Tyler
$18.35

In Justice, Justice Thou Shalt Pursue, readers will learn even more details about the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's family life and lifelong career fighting for gender equality. The book was heading into production around the time of RBG's death. 

Available March 16, 2021

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'You Are Your Best Thing' by Tarana Burke & Brené Brown
$24.84

Tarana Burke, acclaimed activist and founder of the Me Too movement, and Dr. Brené Brown, New York Times bestselling author and professor, teamed up to create an anthology on the Black experience that includes essays from some of the most vital voices of our time. 

Available April 27, 2021

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'The Last Thing He Told Me' by Laura Dave
$24.84

You know it's probably a good thriller when Reese Witherspoon decides to transform it into a limited TV series starring Julia Roberts. When main character Hannah's husband disappears and leaves a note telling her to protect his daughter, she finds out her husband wasn't exactly who he was cracked up to be. Together, the mother and stepdaughter start to discover the truth about the man they thought they knew. 

Available May 4, 2021

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'Notes on Grief' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
$14.72

The exquisite author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's latest work, Notes on Grief, is a book we can all relate to in our ways during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, Adichie details the loss of her father last summer. 

Available May 11, 2021

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'That Summer' by Jennifer Weiner
$25.76

The summer wouldn't be complete without an aptly-titled novel from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner that explores themes of friendship and power. 

Available May 11, 2021

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'Billie Eilish' by Billie Eilish
$32.20

Billie Eilish fans, rejoice: The 19-year-old singer/songwriter is publishing a visual introspection into her life with never-before-seen photos.

Available May 11, 2021

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'Yearbook' by Seth Rogen
$25.76

As Seth Rogen perfectly put it, "I wrote a book called Yearbook. It’s true stories and essays and stuff that I hope you think are funny. It comes out in May, but if you like you can order it now. Yay!"

Available May 11, 2021

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'People We Meet on Vacation' by Emily Henry
$14.72

If you enjoyed Emily Henry's Beach Read, you'll appreciate People We Meet on Vacation—a novel about two best friends, Alex and Poppy, whose annual vacation ritual is halted after they've stopped speaking. And yet, somehow they convince each other to go on one final seven-day vacation together in an attempt to make it right. 

Available May 11, 2021

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'While Justice Sleeps' by Stacey Abrams
$26.63

There seems to be nothing Fair Fight founder Stacey Abrams can't do, and that includes writing a compelling thriller. Ever so timely, While Justice Sleeps centers on Avery Keene, a young clerk for the fictional Justice Howard Wynn, who becomes his legal guardian and power of attorney when he slips into a coma. When Avery discovers the justice has been secretly researching a controversial case, she's propelled on a quest for the truth while Washington attempts to replace the justice. 

Available May 11, 2021

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'State of Emergency' by Tamika D. Mallory
$23.92

In State of Emergency: How We Win in the Country We Built, activist and social justice leader Tamika D. Mallory gives readers the tools they need to fight injustice and find a pathway towards true freedom. This is the first book from Charlamagne Tha God’s new imprint, Black Privilege Publishing.

Available May 11, 2021

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'Don't Breathe a Word' by Jordyn Taylor
$16.55

The Paper Girl in Paris' Jordyn Taylor returns with Don't Breathe a Word—a boarding school mystery that alternates between the past and the present to discover the secrets that lie within Hardwick Preparatory Academy. 

Available May 18, 2021

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'The Guncle' by Steven Rowley
$24.84

When once-famous actor Patrickotherwise known as Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP)becomes the primary guardian of his young niece and nephew after tragedy strikes, he finds himself in the role of a lifetime. 

Available May 25, 2021

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'Instructions for Dancing' by Nicola Yoon
$18.39

Nicola Yoon, New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun Is Also a Star, returns with another charming love story. This time around, main character Evie has a vision of a couple's romanceknowing exactly how it begins and endsand must determine whether her own budding romance is worth the risk of heartbreak. 

Available June 1, 2021

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'With Teeth' by Kristen Arnett
$24.84

Kristen Arnett's With Teeth paints an equally humorous and moving portrayal of a mother's fear of her hostile son while desperately trying to keep her family together as she grows increasingly resentful of her wife. 

Available June 1, 2021

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'One Last Stop' by Casey McQuiston
$15.62

The New York Times bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue returns with the queer New York City love story we didn't know we needed. In One Last Stop, cynical 23-year-old August meets a gorgeous girl on the subway and it may actually be too good to be true after allshe soon discovers this woman is actually displaced in time from the '70s, and she must figure out how to help her. 

Available June 1, 2021

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'The Other Black Girl' by Zakiya Dalila Harris
$24.84

The Other Black Girl is the NYC publishing story Black women have been waiting for. The novel centers on 26-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers who's fed up with the microaggressions she experiences as the only Black girl in the office, finding solace when the new girl Hazel arrives. That is, until Nella starts receiving threatening notes to leave her job, and soon realizes there's something much deeper going on here.

Available June 1, 2021

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'Somebody's Daughter' by Ashley C. Ford
$25.75

Ashley C. Ford invites us into her world growing up a poor Black girl in search of answers—namely why her father, who she often turns to for hope, is in prison—taking readers on an emotional journey that leads her to discover the truth about his incarceration, and herself, along the way.

Available June 1, 2021

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'Malibu Rising' by Taylor Jenkins Reid
$25.76

Daisy Jones and The Six fans will be thrilled to learn Taylor Jenkins Reid has a new novel—Malibu Rising—coming out about four famous siblings in the '80s who throw an end-of-summer party.

Available June 1, 2021

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'Seven Days in June' by Tia Williams
$24.84

Tia Williams's sultry romance novel, Seven Days in June, is about two former lovers who reconnect at a New York literary event. There, they can't deny their chemistry or the fact that they haven't forgotten about each other in the decades since they were last together. Now, during seven days in June, they must decide what their future has in store.  

Available June 1, 2021

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'The Woman in the Purple Skirt' by Natsuko Imamura
$21.16

Natsuko Imamura's The Woman in the Purple Skirt, a bestseller in Japan, is being shared with an American audience this summer. The novel centers on, as you may have guessed, the Woman in the Purple Skirt, who is being watched by the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan. Why does everyone pay attention to the Woman in the Purple Skirt and not the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan? You'll just have to find out. 

Available June 8, 2021

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'Dear Senthuran' by Akwaeke Emezi
$24.84

In Dear Senthuran, critically-acclaimed author Akwaeke Emezi turns the focus on their own life. Through a series of letters written to friends and family, they reflect on decisions about their gender and body, how they've managed to navigate certain relationships, and much more.

"As someone who’s been carefully curating their public image for years, it feels almost dangerous to write so honestly, but the final result is a text that I love, one that deeply engages with the metaphysics of Black spirit & singularly faces the Black reader," says Emezi.

Available June 8, 2021

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'Animal' by Lisa Taddeo
$25.75

At its core, Lisa Taddeo's debut novel, Animal, is about female rage and desire. If this book is anything like Taddeo's Three Women, expect masterful storytelling. 

Available June 8, 2021

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'Blackout' by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk & Nicola Yoon
$18.39

Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon?! When six incredible Black storytellers come together to create a series of interconnected love stories, you know you're about to read something special.

Available June 22, 2021

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'Filthy Animals' by Brandon Taylor
$23.92

Hailed as one of 2020's breakout literary stars, scientist-turned-novelist Brandon Taylor is back with Filthy Animals—a collection of connected short stories set in the midwest

Available June 22, 2021

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'Something Wild' by Hanna Halperin
$24.84

When sisters Tanya and Nessa Bloom travel to the Boston suburbs to help their mom pack up their childhood home, they reckon with their past while discovering a disturbing truth: their mother is in an abusive relationship. Now, they must figure out what comes next for all of them. 

Available June 29, 2021

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'Goldenrod' by Maggie Smith
$21.16

Following the release of last year's Keep Moving, Maggie Smith will publish another set of poems that center on parenthood, solitude, love, and memory. Smith says Goldenrod has been five years (!) in the making. 

Available July 27, 2021

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'They'll Never Catch Us' by Jessica Goodman
$16.54

Jessica Goodman, bestselling author of They Wish They Were Us (the book is being adapted into a TV series starring Halsey!), returns with They'll Never Catch Us—a murder-mystery that centers on a new cross-country star in town who goes missing and the two sisters, also elite runners, who are prime suspects in her disappearance.  

Available July 27, 2021

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'We Were Never Here' by Andrea Bartz
$24.84

Andrea Bartz's mystery, We Were Never Here, is about two best friends who are enjoying their annual reunion trip until one of them walks into their hotel room to find the other killed a backpacker in self-defense. A similar incident happened the year prior...was it just a coincidence or something more? 

Available August 3, 2021

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'The Heart Principle' by Helen Hoang
$23.92

The eagerly-anticipated third novel in the Kiss Quotient series, Helen Hoang's The Heart Principle proves how wrong you can be about someone—and how they may just be the right person for you. 

Available August 17, 2021

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'A Slow Fire Burning' by Paula Hawkins
$25.76

New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins has a new novel set for release—A Slow Fire Burning—about a young man who's found murdered in a houseboat and the three women who are suspects in the case.

Available August 31, 2021

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'Beautiful World, Where Are You' by Sally Rooney
$25.76

Yes, you read that correctly. Sally Rooney, author of Conversations with Friends and Normal People, returns with Beautiful World, Where Are You—a novel about friendship and sex. 

Available September 7, 2021

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'Matrix' by Lauren Groff
$25.76

If you love historical fiction, you'll appreciate Lauren Groff's upcoming novel, Matrix, which centers on 17-year-old Marie de France who's sent to England to become the head of a poverty-stricken abbey. 

Available September 7, 2021

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