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I don't want to sound cocky, but I'm ahead of my Goodreads challenge. Sure, it's by one book but doesn't matter because I'm ahead!!
The Possessions - Sara Flannery Murphy
In an unnamed city, Eurydice works for the Elysian Society, a private service that allows grieving clients to reconnect with lost loved ones. She and her fellow workers, known as “bodies“, wear the discarded belongings of the dead and swallow pills called lotuses to summon their spirits—numbing their own minds and losing themselves in the process. Edie has been a body at the Elysian Society for five years, an unusual record. Her success is the result of careful detachment: she seeks refuge in the lotuses’ anesthetic effects and distances herself from making personal connections with her clients.
But when Edie channels Sylvia, the dead wife of recent widower Patrick Braddock, she becomes obsessed with the glamorous couple. Despite the murky circumstances surrounding Sylvia’s drowning, Edie breaks her own rules and pursues Patrick, moving deeper into his life and summoning Sylvia outside the Elysian Society’s walls.
After years of hiding beneath the lotuses’ dulling effect, Edie discovers that the lines between her own desires and those of Sylvia have begun to blur, and takes increasing risks to keep Patrick within her grasp. Suddenly, she finds her quiet life unraveling as she grapples not only with Sylvia’s growing influence and the questions surrounding her death, but with her own long-buried secrets.
A tale of desire and obsession, deceit and dark secrets that defies easy categorization, The Possessions is a seductive, absorbing page-turner that builds to a shattering, unforgettable conclusion.
Man alive, this book was so weird! The entire synopsis of this book is completely bizarre, which of course is why I even agreed to review it. Not in all of my years as an avid reader have I ever come across a book with this kind of story line, which is the first reason you should read it. It's getting harder and harder to find books that aren't like anything else out there. We have Edie, who is able to let people connect with their dead relatives by essentially becoming them. Kind of. Enter Patrick, bereft from his wife's passing, seeks out Edie's services. Only Edie realizes quickly that Patrick isn't totally forthcoming and that maybe Sylvia's death has more to it. But the more Edie digs into that she's almost taken over by Sylvia (kind of? I can't really explain it, because it's bizarre but fascinating enough that you can't stop reading) and is desperate to keep Patrick. Some irks about the book is the over the top metaphors. Not every description needs to be a metaphor. I feel like metaphors can be amazing, but when used sparingly- make them pack a punch. The writing itself is beautiful but I have to knock it points for the metaphors because lordy... there are SO MANY.
But just stop and think of all of the implications if something like this was possible. It's 100% creepy and weird but you can't look away and you are fully interested. Edie is kind of an odd duck all on her own but when she is channeling someone else she almost becomes even more bizarre (obviously) but in a really different kind of way. The ending was a little... anti-climatic for me? I honestly expected a whole lot more (no spoilers) but Edie's character is so strange that I guess when I have had some time to think about it... I guess it makes sense. I'm not fully satisfied, which is why I'm giving it 4 of 5 stars. You also need to keep in mind this is a literary debut so the fact an author comes out the gate swinging with something like this makes me already anticipating the next book in what I'm sure will be a diverse catalog.
The book is available on the HarperCollins website, and in the meantime you can visit Sara Flannery Murphy on her website, Facebook, and Twitter!