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Follow the journey of Josie Morrow, a.k.a. Girl One

Illustrations by Adam Carnes
Art direction by Alex Reeves

Girl one heading top

The hero of Sara Flannery Murphy’s Girl One is on a quest: her mother is missing, and it seems to have something to do with The Homestead, the cult-y commune where Josie was famously born—the very first “Miracle Baby” to be conceived without the influence of male DNA. But Josie wasn’t the last. To track down her mother, she reaches out to the other Girls, her estranged sisters, for help. That’s how she ends up on a road trip, crisscrossing the United States in search of answers.

We’ve made a map so you can follow along and experience Josie’s journey in her own words. The towns in Girl One may be fictional, but this twisty supernatural-thriller-meets-road-novel is very real—and available now in all 50 states!

Girl one map

1. Coeur du Lac, IL

When I arrived back in Coeur du Lac, Illinois—Heart of the Lake, with no lake and no discernible heart—I stood in front of the shell of my childhood home in the balmy twilight and everything in me crumpled. Something bad had happened here.



2. Redbud, KS

It felt like early summer in Redbud, humid and drowsy. The afternoon air was heavy with the rattle of cicadas, the burn of sprinkler system chlorine, a dusty trace of charcoal from backyard grills. The front door displayed a small handwritten sign: NO SOLICITORS. I gave a stab at the doorbell, loose in its joint. After a few minutes, the door creaked open and a face appeared, partially concealed by the shadows.

3. Harmony Springs, MN

The Clarkson home was a creamy mansion, lined with puffy shrubs. It suited the Clarksons so well it was almost comical, the way some people resembled their pets. The home was mostly hidden behind a high wall of honey-blond brick. Harmony Springs itself was less a neighborhood than an uneasy coalition of walled-off mansions and sprawling grounds, everyone maintaining a haughty distance from each other.



4. Goulding, AR

The yellow house had a dozen wind chimes dangling form the porch, a glittering, clattering flock of them. The windows were shadowed by a deep-set porch. The lawn was profuse with wildflowers. I knocked on the Bowers’ front door, tense with anticipation, praying someone would answer. The Day was stifled with humidity, but here, the noise of the wind chimes was a texture in the air itself, a layer of coolness.

5. Somewhere in Vermont

The NO TRESPASSING signs started out small. A modest sign on a tree trunk, discreet, almost quaint. By the time we reached the driveway proper, the signs were cluttered so thickly they felt like a physical barricade. They hung from the low, rustic wooden gate; they were stapled to the trees. NO TRESSPASSING. Urgent against what otherwise looked like a scene copied from a rustic promotional brochure. A two-story clapboard farmhouse, weathered white.



6. Kithira, NY

Stately colonial houses, red brick and crisp white shutters; the fresh green of the leaves and lawns making everything look newly washed…As we drove, the houses changed, slumping and shrinking. Skylark was just a trickle of a road. It might’ve been the optimistic beginnings of a subdivision, but had given up at just one or two homes. A wide swath of undeveloped forest lay a few yards away.

7. Sweetland, NC

Yoon Flowers & More was an unassuming storefront that opened to a space filled with light and fragrance . . . Light came in through thin rectangular windows that were interspersed at ground-level, revealing the grass and flowers growing right outside.



8. Freshwater, TX

Out here, away from the strip malls and chain restaurants, Freshwater was different. Spanish moss draped like cobwebs over tree branches. A river crawled nearby, turning the air lusciously humid. Everything lit with the buzzing of cicadas.

9. The middle of nowhere, UT

We’d been driving endlessly. The sun through the windshield was so hot and unrelenting that it nearly blurred away my vision, a wash of surreal white. Outside, the landscape was as jagged and unforgiving as an alien planet. All rust-colored rock, serrated cliff edges, ground that was heat-cracked into wide-ranging geometric patterns.


Girl One book cover

Girl One

MCD × FSG, 2021

Orphan Black meets Margaret Atwood in this twisty supernatural thriller about female power and the bonds of sisterhood

Josephine Morrow is Girl One, the first of nine Miracle Babies conceived without male DNA on an experimental commune known as the Homestead. The Girls were raised in the shadow of controversy—plagued by zealots calling them aberrations and their mothers demons—until a devastating fire at the Homestead claimed the lives of three people, leaving the survivors to scatter across...

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