Lawless Spaces by author Corey Ann Haydu


January 18, 2022

Perfect for fans of Deb Caletti, this poignant coming-of-age novel in verse follows a teen girl who connects with the women of her maternal line through their journals and comes to better understand her fraught relationship with her mother.

Mimi’s relationship with her mother has always been difficult. But lately, her mother has been acting more withdrawn than usual, leaving Mimi to navigate the tricky world of turning sixteen alone. What she doesn’t expect is her mother’s advice to start journaling—just like all the woman in her family before her. It’s a tradition, she says. Expected.

But Mimi takes to poetry and with it, a way to write down the realities of growing into a woman, the pains of online bullying, and the new experiences of having a boyfriend. And all in the shadows of a sexual assault case that is everywhere on the news—a case that seems to specifically rattle her mother.

Trying to understand her place in the world, Mimi dives into the uncovered journals of her grandmother, great-grandmother, and beyond. She immerses herself in each of their lives, learns of their painful stories and their beautiful sprits. And as Mimi grows closer to each of these women, she starts to forge her own path. But it isn’t until her mother’s story comes to light that Mimi learns about the unyielding bonds of family and the relentless spirit of womanhood.


*A Kirkus Best of 2022 Selection

*A RISE Feminist Book Project 2023 Selection

*A Chicago Public Library Best of 2022 Selection

*A Junior Library Guild Selection

*“powerfully told verse novel… Haydu’s adept use of verse and structure add a sense of intimacy to the contemporarily resonant narrative, vividly conjuring the story and the women at its heart.”
– Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review

*“By turns fragile, tough as nails, halting, and determined, these characters’ voices command attention….A compelling feminist tale.”
– Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review