Kristin Koval

Pub: February 18, 2025



For readers of Ann Patchett and Celeste Ng, Penitence is a poignant exploration of love and forgiveness. It’s a suspenseful, addictive page-turner filled with literary insight that compels readers to consider whether each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.

When a shocking murder occurs in the home of Angie and David Sheehan, their lives are shattered. Desperate to defend their family, they turn to small-town lawyer Martine Dumont for help, but Martine isn’t just legal counsel—she’s also the mother of Angie’s first love, Julian, a now-successful New York City criminal defense attorney. As Julian and Angie confront their shared past and long-buried guilt from a tragic accident years ago, they must navigate their own culpability and the unresolved feelings between them.

Spanning decades, from the ski slopes of rural Colorado to the streets of post-9/11 New York City and back again, Kristin Koval’s debut novel Penitence is an examination of the complexities of familial loyalty, the journey of redemption, and the profound experience of true forgiveness.