The Rust Maidens

By Gwendolyn Kiste,

Book cover of The Rust Maidens

Book description

Something’s happening to the girls on Denton Street.

It’s the summer of 1980 in Cleveland, Ohio, and Phoebe Shaw and her best friend Jacqueline have just graduated high school, only to confront an ugly, uncertain future. Across the city, abandoned factories populate the skyline; meanwhile at the shore, one strong…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

2 authors picked The Rust Maidens as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Set in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1980, The Rust Maidens is about a sudden change that overcomes several teenage girls in the community. Out of nowhere a metamorphosis begins to take place, the teens’ bodies transform into rusted metal and broken glass—reflecting the decaying factories and communities around them. As word of the transformations spread, the event takes on the power of an urban legend, but the girls have their own secret plans, which they share only with themselves.  

What is beautiful and striking about this book is that the body horror at its center becomes a means for these girls…

From Andrea's list on women reclaiming their own power.

It’s 1980. Cleveland, Ohio is falling into decay, and some of the young women living in Phoebe Shaw’s neighborhood become known as the Rust Maidens as their bodies slowly degrade into rusted metal and jagged glass. I’ve read body horror before, but never like this. Kiste has a beautiful and lyrical prose style, and I particularly love her compassion toward her characters. While she doesn’t shy away from the more horrific aspects of her story, she never forgets the humanity of the Rust Maidens as they transform. She also captures the pain of the friends and family the Maidens leave…

From Nicole's list on contemporary horror written by women.

Want books like The Rust Maidens?

Our community of 11,000+ authors has personally recommended 97 books like The Rust Maidens.

Browse books like The Rust Maidens

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in metamorphosis, body horror, and romantic love?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about metamorphosis, body horror, and romantic love.

Metamorphosis Explore 24 books about metamorphosis
Body Horror Explore 26 books about body horror
Romantic Love Explore 889 books about romantic love