'The Smaller Evil' dives into the dark plot of a cult-like retreat

'Smaller Evil' by Stephanie Kuehn
'Smaller Evil' by Stephanie Kuehn
Courtesy of Dutton

Stephanie Kuehn grew up reading the kind of books that keep you up late at night: the twisted and terrifying works of Peter Straub and V.C. Andrews and more.

And though she left horror behind as an adult and went to work as a clinical psychologist, her taste for dark plots comes alive in her new YA thriller, "The Smaller Evil."

Kuehn joined MPR News host Kerri Miller to talk about the novel, and the power of books for young readers.

"The Smaller Evil" follows 17-year-old Arman Dukoff, who flees his chaotic family life for the supposed-haven of an isolated self-help retreat led by a charismatic figure. Life at the retreat becomes increasingly bizarre and tense as Arman becomes further entangled in its practices.

For the full interview with Stephanie Kuehn, use the audio player above.

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