New to Liberty

DeMisty D. Bellinger’s debut novel New to Liberty is available now!

New to Liberty cover

Three women, decades apart from each other, fight for love and agency in a rural Kansas community seemingly frozen in time.

A novel told in three parts, New to Liberty showcases the growth and strength of three unforgettable women as they evolve in a society that refuses to. In lustrous prose, DeMisty Bellinger brings the quiet but treacherous landscape to life, offering a vivid snapshot of mid-century America and keeping readers guessing until the end as to how these three women are connected.

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Praise for New to Liberty

November 21 2022 – Book review of New To Liberty by Dawnshaee Reid! “As a fan of historical fiction, I was initially drawn to Demisty D. Bellinger’s debut novel, New to Liberty, based on

“New to Liberty is a marvel. I was enraptured by DeMisty Bellinger’s portrait of a gothic, gritty countryside. This atmospheric novel traces, with great sincerity, sensitivity, and crystal-clear prose, the dynamics of love and courtship, even as it explores lives lived in the haunting aftermath of violence. Bellinger’s is a major, exciting new voice in fiction.”

Timothy Schaffert, author of The Perfume Thief

“DeMisty D. Bellinger writes authentic, compelling voices from rural America. In ‘New to Liberty’, Bellinger reframes the familiar ‘can you go home again?’ question with the urgency of how the journey recalibrates personal and family histories. In this debut, Bellinger joins the ranks of epic, intimate family stories like John Steinbeck’s ‘East of Eden’ for its tale of truth and justice and Jane Smiley’s ‘A Thousand Acres’ for humanity’s capacity for good and evil; ‘New to Liberty’ is a contemporary voice for our historical heartland.”

—Melissa Scholes Young, author of ‘The Hive’ and ‘Flood’

“Moving back through the summers of 1966, 1947, and 1933, DeMisty Bellinger’s ‘New To Liberty’ gorgeously traces the long shadow of trauma lingering over the American Midwest from the scourge of the Dust Bowl to racism and violence toward women to the fleeting beauty of forbidden love. With vibrant and restrained prose, Bellinger has achieved the seemingly impossible: written an American epic in under two hundred pages.

—John Copenhaver, award-winning author of ‘The Savage Kind’

“The narrative voices in ‘New to Liberty’ bridge eras and personal isolation, resonating like intimate friends you’ve somehow always known. The novel’s imagery, whether steeped in beauty, horror, love, or terror, stitches itself into your own fabric, becoming a part of you long after you’ve turned the last page.”

—Chris Harding Thornton, author of ‘Pickard County Atlas’

“With deft, insightful prose and great compassion, DeMisty D. Bellinger beautifully captures the private longings, struggles, and complex moments of bliss of three women in rural Kansas. The characters in ‘New to Liberty’ are so richly drawn, their voices and inner lives so intimate and real, I felt like these women were sharing their secrets just with me, and I wanted to hear the stories of all the women who ever passed through Liberty, Kansas. I loved this book.”

—Elizabeth Crane, author of ‘The History of Great Things’

“In elegant prose, New to Liberty centers on the lives of three women besieged by a hostile and unforgiving society and marooned by a harsh Midwestern landscape overshadowed by the legacy of the Dust Bowl. In each of the three parts of the story—taking place in 1966, 1947, and 1933—it is the fragile and tenuous light of love that offers them hope.”

—Julie Iromuanya, author of Mr. and Mrs. Doctor

“Written with raw clarity, New to Liberty addresses race, gender, and anti-LGBTQ prejudice in a way that both face discrimination head-on and also blends the experiences of Bellinger’s characters seamlessly into the narrative.”

Here Are 16 Upcoming Books from Indie Presses You’ll Love” Wendy J. Fox, BuzzFeed

“New to Liberty beautifully showcases the way history endures within us, and how while someone else’s past may influence our present moment, we still have agency. We still have hope.”

Rachel León for Ploughshares Blog

“This engrossing and robust novel in three parts features three women in mid-century rural Kansas who fight for safety, agency and independence against formidable odds.”

–Ms. “April 2022 Reads for the Rest of Us,” by Karla J. Strand

“Enjoy the read; you’ll want to jump right into this one.”

–Amazon reviewer Tina

“[DeMisty Bellinger’s] coverage of what 1933 Dust Bowl makes you believe that you are experiencing it firsthand.”

–Amazon review Stephen Wells

“Thoughtful, nuanced view of three strong women characters. I found this book emotionally affecting, with strong ideas and a nuanced approach. We encounter three young women in different eras, negotiating sex, power, race, society, and prejudice. The language is well-honed; the book is readable, the characters engaging, and the ripples remain long after reading.”

–Amazon review from a muse

“Bellinger is an excellent writer and a great storyteller. In me, she has a fan for life. I am eagerly anticipating her next work. I enthusiastically recommend this book!”

–Goodreads review from Laurie

“I really enjoyed the writing and the viewpoint that this author has and look forward to reading more from DeMisty D. Bellinger”

Goodreads review from M R

“I loved this book so much!! I immediately had to go back to the first part and reread it to find all of the connections I missed the first time through. I really liked how the characters stories were woven together across generations, subtly at first until it became clear what the significance was. The sense of place around rural Kansas in the various time periods was vividly crafted. What I loved the most was the strength and indomitable spirit that each of the characters had in the face of such heartbreaking situations. It reminded me of so many of the women I have encountered that face unspeakable hardships and just keep going.”

–Goodreads review from Tiffany

“This is book is a quick but intriguing read. I definitely recommend it for someone looking to get out a reading slump. It’s tackles tough topics like poverty, racial injustice, and sexual assault but still holds space for love and hope.”

–Goodreads review from Christiana McClain

“I found this book incredibly compelling and, while some of the events of the novel were hard to read, my overall impression after finishing the book was one of hope. I’m continuing to ponder this novel as it is “one of those” that sticks with you after reading. In summary, DeMisty Bellinger gives us an unflinching look at characters who are doing their best to carve out lives no matter what harsh events the world serves them. This is one of the best books I’ve read in some time.”

–Goodreads review from Melissa McCoy

“Bellinger paints a vivid picture of sacrifice, devastation, devotion, and love in an unforgiving time and place.”

–Goodreads review from Elizabeth

Order now from Unnamed Press!

or from your favorite bookstore, or from these online sellers:

Bookshop.orgBarnes &