Izzy Ames lives with her high school sweetheart, Cyrus Rivera, in the Salton Sea. They cling to each other and to their close friends Nephy and Seth to cope with the trauma of their pasts. Until the morning Izzy awakes to find Cyrus has vanished.
When she realizes no one will help, Izzy takes matters into her own hands and decides to search for Cyrus alone. After weeks of looking for him, she discovers a clue that leads her to the House of Hearts retreat center run by the mysterious Sky. At House of Hearts, Izzy meets an intriguing musician named Ever Fontana and for a moment she is able to forget the pain of her past. But when new clues about Cyrus’ disappearance surface, Izzy must go down into the dark to find the truth.
Izzy’s quest will take her into a world of sexuality, madness, and violence, where she will discover life-changing secrets not only about Cyrus but, ultimately, about herself.
“The desert is alive with story, with terror, with myth, with wonder, and Francesca Lia Block has planted a House of Hearts there. Come in if you dare, but you might not make it back out. ~ Stephen Graham Jones, author of The Only Good Indians
"A lushly sensory pageturner that will satisfy Block fans and create new ones— I was swept up in the story but also paused, with pleasure, to savor the way this writer captures, again and again, the overwhelm— gorgeous and frightening-- of the Southern California landscape." ~ Aimee Bender, author of The Butterfly Lampshade.
"House of Hearts…is remarkably beautiful, unpredictably strange, and startling in a way that is impossible to anticipate. Her themes tread familiar ground: the traumas that roil through a body in grief; the darkly unsafe sorceries that bedevil a soul into being; and the burden of love’s ancient curse, which is the sacrifice that every god demands. For sometimes delusions aren’t delusions at all and if we think we’re chasing ghosts, we’re wrong. The ghosts are hunting us. The wisdom of this novel is absolute. What hurts is also what heals. The blessing is the wound. It isn’t myth that makes us, it’s the other way around. And the only path past pain cuts straight through hell. You simply must read this book.” ~ Jill Alexander Essbaum, author of Hausfrau
"House of Hearts is hot, strange, and heartbreaking as the Mojave at high noon. Compulsively readable, with a heroine whose voice we need now, this is a novel that will teach you how to survive.” ~ Lisa Locasio Nighthawk, author of Open Me
"Francesca Lia Block's luminescent prose shines in this dark, suspenseful tale that reaches back to ancient myth but reverberates with contemporary themes. Block's luscious imagery floods the senses and Izzy's tangled quest to find her missing desert lover will haunt you long after you finish the book. Brava!" ~ Denise Hamilton author of Damage Control
"Can't Miss Indie Press Speculative Fiction" on Tor.com