A Haunting First Novel by Riss Neilson ’17

Book cover

“[‘Deep in Providence’] is the perfect combination of terror and tenderness,” says one reviewer.

Riss Neilson ’17 (Photo caption: Jadin Gagnon)

Riss Neilson ’17 recently published her first novel, “Deep in Providence” to rave reviews.

Published by Henry Holt and Co. in 2022, this spellbinding young adult fantasy novel follows three best friends who turn to magic when they’re haunted by a fourth best friend’s death … and perhaps her spirit.

The book became a Finalist in the 2022 New England Book Awards and was selected by BuzzFeed, a digital media outlet, as one of the New LGBTQA+ YA Novels You Need This Spring.

Praise for “Deep in Providence” has been effusive, issuing from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and award-winning authors of young adult fiction. One reviewer writes:

“Reader beware: This book will enthrall you. Once I opened it, I could not put it down! By braiding together the perspectives of three bold and nuanced best friends who are grieving the loss of their fourth, Neilson casts a powerful spell that will haunt readers long after the final page. The friendships feel so tangibly real that I miss these girls already – and that’s the best kind of magic.” — Romina Garber, bestselling author of “Lobizona”

Neilson’s second novel, “I’m Not Supposed to Be in the Dark,” is due out next spring 2023. Neilson graduated from RIC in 2017 magna cum laude, with a B.A. in English/creative writing and is a recipient of the English Department’s Jean Garrigue Award.

Take a look inside “Deep in Providence.”

Learn more about RIC’s Department of English.