“A brilliant and beautifully written book about a stark and terrible world, On the Savage Side brings a sense of humanity to the ravages of addiction. This book is as important as it is timely.”
—Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain
“Inspired by a true crime story, Tiffany McDaniel has written a novel of the highest literary merits, a book about the bonds of family, community, and the consequences of those bonds failing us. It is a story that speaks to America’s current moral disorientation, and then transcends it.”
—Elliot Ackerman, author of 2034: A Novel of the Next World War
"Eye-opening, chilling and yet compassionate, On the Savage Side is a disturbing and insightful re-imagining of a true-life crime story."
—Dan Chaon, author of Ill Will
“Tiffany McDaniel’s characters will break a reader’s heart with their longing and vulnerable loves. 'A trio of women who could have been queens in a different parade,' they tell stories of an America that deserves a closer look, from a writer who delineates their lives with tenderness."
—Susan Straight, author of Mecca
"In On the Savage Side, Tiffany McDaniel paints a portrait of addiction that is honest and unapologetically brutal, yet her twin protagonists are never defined solely by their struggles. Instead they are artists and swimmers, archaeologists and poets, searching for the smallest glints of hope in a world where their love for each other is the only constant. Dedicated to the memory of six women who disappeared or were killed in Chillicothe, Ohio, the novel asks pressing questions about why society deems some injustices tragic and others merely inconvenient. If only all women whose suffering has been ignored could have an artist as gifted as McDaniel to give their eulogy. "
—Anjali Sachdeva, author of All the Names They Used For God
"Tiffany McDaniel spins an elaborate, glittering web of brutality and childlike innocence. On the Savage Side lays bare the cruel devolution of addiction, and the way it clings to a family, dragging them into poverty and desperate acts. This book will leave you breathless, heartbroken, and agape at how beauty persists in the midst of tragedy."
—Bryn Greenwood, author of The Reckless Oath We Made and All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
"In this atmospheric Appalachian Gothic, a poet and novelist draws on a string of actual unsolved murders in her native Ohio to capture what goes horribly wrong when women don’t fit a customary victim profile... McDaniel artfully evokes each facet of their common humanity, the sinuous landscape, and defiant community in the face of evil."
"Stunning... McDaniel portrays the twins and the others in their group as almost preternaturally bright, full of knowledge and wonder, making for an aching contrast to their traumas of addiction, abuse, violence, and loss. It’s a striking portrayal of women fighting for their lives, and one readers won’t soon forget."
—Publishers Weekly, starred
"An exploration of addiction and grief and an indictment of how we decide who deserves saving. As she did in Betty, McDaniel gives every character the voice of a poet."
"Tiffany McDaniel’s gorgeously written On the Savage Side, loosely inspired by the Chillicothe murders in Ohio, tells the story of two twin sisters, their friends who go missing, and all the ways women suffer in the world. Reading this book is like looking through a haunted kaleidoscope."