Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff | 1 Minute Reviews

This book absolutely took my breath away. I’ve been thinking about how to sum it up, how to find the right words. I probably cannot do it justice here, but know that you really should read this.


Maresi lives in the Red Abbey, where she was sent after the Hunger Winter. The Red Abbey is a sacred place, isolated on its own island Menos, inhabited only by women. Here, the girls can learn, read, reach their full potentials under the tutelage of the Sisters of the Abbey.

One day, a girl arrives covered in dirt and scars on a ship – Jai. Fleeing persecution from her abusive family, Jai lives in fear that the men of her family will not let her escape from them. Not truly.

And that’s when they arrive on a boat.

Maresi is an absolutely stunning book on the patriarchal ownership and subjugation of women, a story of honour killings and brutality. Maria Turtschaninoff’s writing is stunning and this feels like one of the most sophisticated YA novels I’ve read. A spiritual descendent of The Handmaid’s Tale, Maresi is the first book in the promising Red Abbey Chronicles.

Interested? Buy it here in hardback or paperback. I’m a bit in love with both covers.

What to read next:

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