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The Chaperone

Like every young woman in New America, Stella knows the rules:

Embrace purity.

Navigate the world with care.

Respect your chaperone.

Stella can’t go out by herself or spend time with boys except at Visitations. Girls in New America must have chaperones at all times until they marry, so Stella’s lucky that Sister Helen is like a friend to her. When Sister Helen dies suddenly, she’s devastated, especially when the Constables assign Stella a new chaperone just days later.

Sister Laura is… different. She leaves Stella alone at the library (isn’t that illegal?) and knows how to get into the “Hush Hush” parties where all kinds of forbidden things happen. As Stella spends more time with Sister Laura, she begins to question everything she’s been taught. What if the Constables’ rules don’t actually protect girls? What if they were never meant to keep them safe?

Once Stella glimpses both real freedom and the dark truths behind New America, she has no choice but to fight back against the world she knows. She sets out on a dangerous journey across what was once the United States, risking everything.

Meet the Author

M Hendrix

M earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism at Indiana University before studying literature and creative writing in graduate school, receiving her master’s degree from Miami University and her doctorate from the University of Cincinnati, where she was a Taft Fellow. She has been nominated five times for the Pushcart Prize and was shortlisted for the Aesthetica creative writing award. She is represented by John Cusick of Folio Literary.

Her work has appeared in Newsweek, Aesthetica, The Independent, USA Today, The Vestal Review, Psychology Today, The Satirist, Nzuri, The Haven, Letters to Dead Authors, Medium, 2nd & Church, Word Salad, Quirk, Cairn, Gravity Hill, the Louisville Courier-Journal, the Bowling Green Daily News, and more. She is also the author of two previous books. For a complete list of publications, visit her website,

Born in Baltimore and raised in New Jersey, she has lived in ten states and now makes her home in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with her husband, bestselling suspense novelist David Bell. The Chaperone is her first novel.