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  • Published: 29 November 2022
  • ISBN: 9781787636408
  • Imprint: Bantam Press
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $32.99

The Cloisters



The Secret History for a new generation - a tale of toxic obsession, ambition and corrosive friendships with a mysterious pack of tarot cards at the heart of the story - and set to be one of the most captivating debuts of 2023.

Ann Stilwell arrives in New York City, hoping to spend her summer working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead, she is assigned to The Cloisters, a gothic museum and garden renowned for its collection of medieval and Renaissance art.

There she is drawn into a small circle of charismatic but enigmatic researchers, each with their own secrets and desires, including the museum's curator, Patrick Roland, who is convinced that the history of Tarot holds the key to unlocking contemporary fortune telling.

Relieved to have left her troubled past behind and eager for the approval of her new colleagues, Ann is only too happy to indulge some of Patrick's more outlandish theories. But when Ann discovers a mysterious, once-thought lost deck of 15th-century Italian tarot cards she suddenly finds herself at the centre of a dangerous game of power, toxic friendship and ambition.

And as the game being played within the Cloisters spirals out of control, Ann must decide whether she is truly able to defy the cards and shape her own future . . .

Bringing together the modern and the arcane, The Cloisters is a rich, thrillingly told tale of obsession and the ruthless pursuit of power.

  • Published: 29 November 2022
  • ISBN: 9781787636408
  • Imprint: Bantam Press
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $32.99

About the author

Katy Hays

Katy Hays is an adjunct professor of Art History at Sierra College and holds a BA from UC Santa Cruz, an MA from Williams College and attended UC Berkeley for her PhD in Art History. Her academic work has been published by Ashgate, and her writing has been featured in Belladonna magazine. She also serves on the board of the Community of Writers, whose workshops take place every summer in Olympic Valley, California, where she lives. Having worked in curatorial and research roles at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Musée D'Orsay and The Clark Art Institute, she brings an insider's knowledge of the workings of museums and galleries as well as indepth research about the fascinating history of fortune-telling to The Cloisters, her first novel.

Praise for The Cloisters

Prepare to lose your entire afternoon to The Cloisters . . . good luck staying ahead of this one and have a great time poring over the many treasures inside.

MARIA HUMMEL, author of Reese's Book Club Pick, Still Lives

Sultry and sinister . . . Hays' debut teems with sexual tension, the secrets of divination, and scholarly obsessiveness . . . jaw-dropping.

SARAH PENNER, author of The Lost Apothecary

A tour de force by an important new voice . . . a rich tapestry that speaks to issues of privilege, power, and ambition-and, more than anything, the darkness lurking just inside ivory towers . . . incredibly compelling, The Cloisters grabbed me in a way that no book has done since The Secret History.

RACHEL KAPELKE-DALE, author of The Ballerinas

Mesmerizing . . . like the air before a summer storm - thick and sinister, shimmering with tension. A seductive unfurling of lies, envy, and the pull of the occult . . . this sharp, shadowy book held me in thrall from beginning to star-crossed end.

SARA SLIGAR, author of Take Me Apart

A sharply smart, engaging debut . . . Hays' smooth narration deftly conjures the complex, sexy webs between her characters . . . a fun, seductive, intelligent read.

NICOLA DeROBERTIS-THEYE, author of The Vietri Project

The dark and enigmatic world of The Cloisters captured me from the off . . . a story of academic obsession, Renaissance magic and the ruthless pursuit of power. Captivating in every sense.

SARAH PEARSE, author of The Sanatorium

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