A powerful and imaginative debut novel about the legacy of slavery, and the psychological mystery surrounding a troubled young woman.
When Lizzie Du Bose inherits a handmade quilt willed to her by a maternal grandmother she has never met, her life is forever changed. The figures sewn into the quilt tell the stories of Lizzie's grandmother Grace, and Grace's grandmother Ayo, who was abducted from Africa as a girl and sent as a slave to America. As Lizzie learns, the quilt seems to hold the key to a past that haunts her, at first through terrifyngly lifellike dreams, and finally through visions that seem to take Lizzie back in time, fusing her own life with the lives of Grace and Ayo.
One night, Lizzie awakens to find the quilt soaked in blood, and discovers horrible wounds on her wrists and back. Wracked with pain, Lizzie has no memory of having harmed herself, but she believes Ayo's manacle scars have appeared on her own body--as real an inheritence as Grace's quilt. Now Lizzie must decide whether she has begun a descent into madness, or made an extraordinary connection to the past. A compelling and utterly intriguing tale, Stigmata weaves together the stories of three women at once blessed with a powerful vision, and cursed by a shared legacy of slavery, pain, and struggle.